Having read about the blown call that cost Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on the 27th batter, I became interested in the umpire, Jim Joyce. After making a bad first-plate safe call that cost Galarraga a perfect game on what should have been the very last out, Joyce acted with grace, apologizing directly and profusely to Galarraga. As SI notes, Joyce was “crushed.” Galarraga also acted with class, saying “I give a lot of credit to the guy saying, ‘Hey, I need to talk to you because I really say I’m sorry.’” Both of them are professionals with class. After all, it’s when you screw up, or when somebody’s error screws you, that your character really shines (or doesn’t).
Too bad that some of the amateurs on the Web don’t have similar class. Shortly after the bad call, somebody vandalized Joyce’s Wikipedia page to declare he was dead. That’s just sick. Yesterday, I saw that Joyce’s name was a trending Twitter topic, but the results were polluted with Twitter spam.
Such online foolishness illustrates what Andrew Keen derided as the “Cult of the Amateur” in his book by the same name. Keen says:
We — those of us who want to know more about the world, those of us who are the consumers of mainstream culture — are being seduced by the empty promise of the “democratized” media. For the real consequence of the Web 2.0 revolution is less culture, less reliable news, and a chaos of useless information. One chilling reality in this brave new digital epoch is the blurring, obfuscation, and even disappearance of truth.