With the most heartbreaking missed call in baseball history, Jim Joyce gave official proclamation to the 2010 baseball season: welcome to The Year of the Umpire. So wrote SI.com's Tom Verducci on one of the most infamous nights on the diamond. After Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga had seemingly thrown the 21st perfect game in baseball history - the third perfect game inside of four weeks - first base umpire Jim Joyce ruled the Cleveland Indians' Jason Donald safe on a play at first base. Video replay clearly showed the runner was out. "There is no polite way to say this," Verducci wrote. "Joyce blew the call."
The call will be water-cooler discussion throughout the day, overshadowing the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr., the Flyers win over the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals and the beginning of a glamourous NBA Finals series between the Celtics and Lakers. The latter is the highlight on the day following one of the biggest blunders in officiating history.
The Memorial (Golf Channel, 3PM)
Tiger Woods returns to the course today in Muirfield Village, Ohio for the his first start since his injury withdrawal at the Players Championship. Questions abound about the health of Woods's neck, his mental focus, and whether he will be a factor with the U.S. Open coming in two weeks. Woods will tee off at 12:44 p.m.; Phil Mickelson is also entered in the tournament and will begin his round in the morning.
Celtics at Lakers (9:00 p.m., ABC)
"This NBA Finals rematch of the Lakers and Celtics will not pick up where the last one left off, because too much has changed," writes SI.com's Ian Thomsen. But the outcome and consequences of 2008 live on to define each team and all of its important players. This may be the most important result: That after the 39-point loss to finish off the Lakers in Game 6 at Boston, Kobe Bryant turned into himself. Over the last two years, he has shown decreasing concern for what teammates and others might think while he has simply demanded excellence in pursuit of the larger team goals." Bryant is the main attraction as the opening game tips of in Los Angeles.
BY THE NUMBERS
Career home runs for Griffey, fifth on the alltime list.
home runs hit by Griffey as a member of the Seattle Mariners. He played in 1,685 games with Seattle and hit .292 with 1,216 RBIs.
All-Star appearances for Griffey.