So I don't know if there is what to harp on here, but I took a look at the 3 "perfect" games so far in 2009 and I did notice a difference between the first 2 games and yesterday's "28-out" Perfect Performance.
Something to take into account: Ironically, all 3 games ended (or should have ended) on plays to first base. (For the record, yesterday's Tigers game also ended on 1st base when Trevor Crowe grounded out to 3rd base and Brandon Inge threw over to first).
Here's a snapshot of the final play of the first 2 games:
Notice how each umpire, whether in the top shot during Halladay's game, or the bottom shot of Braden's, is standing 6-12 feet off the line.
Now, take a look at where Jim Joyce is standing:
Joyce is about 1 foot off the line.
I'm not an umpire and I don't know WHERE a first base umpire is supposed to stand, but wouldn't you think being in the best position to call the out would be the ideal spot for any umpire? If the case, how is it possible that these 3 umpires are all found to be in different positions at the most critical spot of the game? Which one has the best vantage point? Who has the worst?
It's hard to know whether or not Joyce's angle only allowed him to see one aspect (the fielder as opposed to the runner) of the play, but from the looks of this picture, check out where Joyce's eyes are as the ball comes into Galarraga's glove:
Clearly, they're on the glove and not exactly watching Donald's feet hit (or not hit) the bag.
Would have a better angle avoided all of this? Is there a set position first base umpires are supposed to be in such an instance? Who knows...
All I do know is... I've got questions.