Jim Joyce is perhaps the most recognizable umpire in all of baseball. Sadly, this status is due more to his blown call with two out in the ninth inning of Armando Galarraga’s not-so-perfect game than his enthusiastic strike call or being voted the best overall umpire by the players in a poll taken by ESPN.
Joyce, whose heartfelt apology to Galarraga, admitting his mistake, is one of the most mature and classy things I’ve ever witnessed, is well-regarded in baseball for a reputation that extends past one miserable moment.
Earlier today, Sports Illustrated writer and rumoured member of The Scott Boras PR Machine, Jon Heyman, tweeted that Joyce had joined Twitter. Upon closer inspection, the umpire’s supposed Twitter account not only has a profile picture taken from the infamous missed call, but also happens to follow more than a dozen Detroit Tigers websites.
It seems rather obvious that Heyman got punk’d, and that the account won’t last too much longer. But hold on. Since questions of legitimacy were posed to the suspicious account, it has since changed pictures, tweeting that:
For those asking about my profile picture…You have to be able to learn from mistakes. I’ve changed it to stop confusion.
The account has also dropped a number of Tigers blogs from it’s following list.
I’m still maintaining my previous call of shenanigans, considering the unlikely attachment to the Tigers and the fact that the real Joyce actually lives in Oregon and grew up in Ohio.
However, the tomfoolery currently on display does bring up questions of what is and isn’t acceptable.
In August, when Blue Jays rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia was first called up to the team, the Toronto fan base was excited to get a glimpse of their catcher of the future. They christened him with the nickname Aaron Cibia and before he had even taken his first MLB at bat, he had a fake Twitter account: @aaroncibia.
Anyone who knew the proper spelling of the catcher’s name could easily tell that the account was a parody. However, in less than an hour, the Blue Jays, showing a complete and utter lack of a sense of humour, were warning fans of the impostor and bragging that they had alerted Twitter of its lack of authenticity.
I’ve had the privilege of speaking with the operator of the @FakeCitoGaston Twitter account. He told me that the Blue Jays also tried to shut down his hilarious take on the coaching strategies of the former Toronto manager, but he fought their initial decision to shut him down, claiming that it was an obvious parody with “fake” written all over the account. Twitter sided with the tweeter, and @FakeCitoGaston continues to tweet today.
Say that fast five times.