I didn't watch much baseball this year but I followed the season's headlines and I am aware of the major plot lines. One story that got lots of press, essentially all angry or at least negative, also spawned my choice for the season's best moment.
The story is of Armando Galarraga, a young pitcher who took a perfect game through 8 and 2/3 innings and needed only to retire the final hitter to record one of the rarest and most haloed feats in the game. He then induced a ground ball to the right side, hustled over to cover first base himself, and took a throw from the first baseman for the greatest out in his career. Only problem: the umpire called the runner safe and the perfect game was blown.
The story became the umpire, Jim Joyce, and how he had robbed the pitcher, robbed the fans, and robbed history with a blown call. He took it like a man, admitted his mistake, apologized to Galarraga, and prepared for a lifetime of angry reminders from unforgiving fans.
During the ensuing 24 hours, the national media magnified the mistake and did its best to whip baseball fans into a frenzied mob, setting the scene for more "made for TV drama" when Joyce took his position behind home plate for the next game.
The drama was there, but not really in a way that many expected. Joyce took the field with visible emotions, ready for the boos and the wrath of the Detroit Tigers, whom he had robbed of a milestone achievement the evening before. When it was time for the managers to bring out the line-up cards, out came Galarraga, with a forgiving smile and an encouraging pat on the back. Joyce cried. Best moment of the year.
Here's the video: