Last Night's Winner: The Human ElementS

In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like those of us subject to the whims of our flawed humanity. Some of us blow calls at first base. Others spend the night teepeeing a Wikipedia page.

Let's take a look at the evolution of umpire Jim Joyce's page, which at last count had undergone 77 revisions since 12:51 a.m. It began harmlessly, if inaccurately, enough (I quote below only the passages pertinent to Armando Galarraga's thwarted perfecto):

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Of course, this turned into:

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galerraga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball.

And then we were off:

James A. Joyce III (born October 3, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball.

Followed by:

James A. Joyce III (born October 3, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galerraga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball. What a bitch.

And:

James A. Joyce III (born October 3, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galerraga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball. What a bitch. May he burn in hell.

And:

James A. Joyce III (born October 3, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galerraga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball. What a bitch. May he burn in hell. idiot

And:

James A. Joyce III (born October 3, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galerraga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball. What a bitch. May he burn in hell. idiot

Jim joyce is the worst umpire in the world. he sucks he sucks he sucks he sucks

The following revisions introduced yet more rage and yet more clumsy errata, not to mention the arguable suggestion that Jim Joyce is fat and the spurious one that he is also gay.

James A. Joyce III (born October 3, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 6th, 2002.

Joyce was the first base umpire that blew the call at first base which would have given Armando Galerraga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball.

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

And then, inevitably, came the anti-Semitism:

James A. Joyce III AKA Fucking Jew (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 6th, 2002. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball.

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

At this point, a credulous reader of Jim Joyce's Wikipedia profile would think the following: that he is Jewish, that he is the worst umpire in baseball, that he fucked up an Armando Galarraga perfect game in 2002 and then again in 2010, that he is a troll, and that he is fat and apparently gay. We would soon learn more:

James A. Joyce III AKA Fucking Jew (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 6th, 2002. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

Joyce recently blew a call to ruin a perfect game. He is now the greatest troll in baseball. DUDE NEEDS TO BE FIRED

His jackassery is legendary.

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

Things ...

James A. Joyce III AKA Fucking Jew (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the very worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 2nd, 2010. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

HE IS BLIND. Someone put him out of his misery.

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

... continued ...

James A. Joyce III AKA Fucking Jew (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the very worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 2nd, 2010. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

HE IS BLIND. Someone put him out of his misery.

JIm Joyce sucks dick

... in ...

James A. Joyce III AKA Fucking Jew (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the very worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 2nd, 2010. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game*[1].

HE IS BLIND. Someone put him out of his misery.

Trejo

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

JIm Joyce sucks dick

... this fashion:

James A. Joyce III (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the very worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 2nd, 2010. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game*[1].

HE IS BLIND. Someone put him out of his misery. He doesn't deserve a penus.

Trejo

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

JIm Joyce sucks dick

No longer a fucking Jew, Joyce had nevertheless been deemed unworthy of a "penus." And perhaps his life as well:

James A. Joyce III (October 3 1955 - June 2, 2010) is the very worst umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978-1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981-1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983), and *COMPLETELY* fucked up Armando Galarraga's perfect game against the Cleveland Indians on June 2nd, 2010. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

On June 2, 2010, Joyce blew a call at first base which would have given Armando Galeragga [sic] of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game.

On June 2nd, 2010, he umpired 1st base at the Tigers-Indians game. Armando Galarraga had pitched a perfect game through 8 and 2/3's innings. On a possibly the worst call in the history of sports, Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at 1st base. Replays showed Scott was out by about 2 feet.

HE IS BLIND. Someone put him out of his misery. He doesn't deserve a penus.

Trejo

Jim Joyce is a big fat joe (Gay)

JIm Joyce sucks dick

He'll be dead within the hour hopefully.

Eventually, order was restored by the more diligent members of the Wikipedia community, and the only reference to Joyce's call read as follows:

On June 2, 2010, Joyce made a controversial call at first base on a groundball hit by Jason Donald. Donald was called safe, ending Armando Galarraga's bid for a perfect game with 2 outs left in the 9th inning. Instant replays showed that Donald was out at first base.

The profile was locked, but a vandal momentarily broke through, replacing the entirety of the "Controversial Call" section with this cry to the gods:

DOUCEBAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

But his contribution was quickly scrubbed, and soon Jim Joyce's entry read as it does now:

On June 2, 2010, Joyce made a controversial call at first base, ruling baserunner Jason Donald of the Cleveland Indians safe. Had the call gone the other way, pitcher Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers would have completed a perfect game, having retired the previous 26 Indians batters without allowing a single baserunner. Replays show that the call was incorrect, and that Donald had in fact been out at first.

Tigers' color commentators said that "The Tigers' fans have been cheated out of the greatest pitching experience in Tiger history." Joyce spoke with the media following the game and admitted he made a mistake: "I just cost the kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw until I saw the replay. It was the biggest call of my career." Joyce apologized to Galarraga following the game after he saw the replay. A perfect game by Galarraga would have set a Major League record of three perfect games in twenty-three days.

In all, there was the standard ump-baiting and the inevitable fag-baiting and a brief, baffling interlude of Jew-baiting — Jim Joyce? — and there were also the calls for Joyce to lose his job, his dick, and his life. (Sports fans' jackassery is legendary, too.) A quarter-century ago, another guy who blew a similar call on a much bigger stage received letter after letter in much the same vein. "Congratulations on changing history," someone wrote Don Denkinger, long before anyone had access to a user-generated online encyclopedia that would allow us to rewrite history ourselves, biliously and with lots of penis humor.