Girardi: Galarraga had 'an Ernie Harwell moment'

TORONTO (AP) — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi saw a flash from the past in the classy way Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga handled umpire Jim Joyce's blown call.

Girardi said Galarraga's sporting gesture to take the lineup card out and shake hands with Joyce the day after losing a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning reminded him of late broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

"I was thinking about that today and the class Galarraga showed," Girardi said Friday before the Yankees played the Toronto Blue Jays. "You could obviously see the remorse on Jim Joyce. I started thinking about it more and it was almost like it was an Ernie Harwell moment. He was one of the best guys to ever walk onto a field, one of the true gentlemen of the game. It was almost like the Detroit organization, the fans, were reacting the way Ernie Harwell would have reacted. I can't tell you how Ernie would have reacted, but knowing Ernie the little bit that I knew him, that's his personality."

Harwell died of cancer May 4 at age 92.

Girardi said he sympathized with Joyce, and understands how easy it is to miss a play.

"There's a lot of times I watch a call at first base and I think a guy is definitely safe or out," Girardi said. "Then I go look at it and go 'What was I thinking? It's not what I thought.'"

Girardi said he's resistant to expanded use of replay or a challenge system like the NFL's, saying it could disrupt the rhythm of players, especially pitchers.

"There's always been the human element in the game," Girardi said. "I don't think we should take that away. You could actually do everything from a video tape or a robot. I don't want to see that. I like keeping everyone in the rhythm of the game. If we've got a red flag and we're able to throw it out, it's going to change the dynamic of the game a little bit.

"I like the consistency and keeping the pitchers on the mound," Girardi added. "Even when there's a home run (review), think about it. A lot of times, it only takes 45 seconds to a minute or a minute and a half, but it's a lull."

Those delays can lead to fans losing interest if they're watching at home, Girardi said, saying television viewers "might go and get something to eat."

A fan of the Chicago Bears, Girardi said he does watch when NFL referees review a call.

"As a fan, I think it's fun to look at all the replays," Girardi said. "It's interesting to watch them. Some of them are very difficult to tell."

Girardi also joked that this is the wrong time to be replacing human umpires with machines.

"The way unemployment is right now, I don't think we need to lose all those people," he said.