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Imperfection: Call to Stand

I may be in the minority on this one, but I think the decision by Bud Selig to let the arguably worst call in baseball history stand is wrong.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga had 26 up and 26 down with one more for the 21st perfect game in Major League history (already 2 this year). The batter rolled a grounder between 1st and 2nd; Miguel Cabrera fielded the ball and tossed to Galarraga for the final out. Yes, it was a close play. But not that close. 22-year veteran Jim Joyce made what he calls the “biggest call of his life and kicked the @#%% out of it.” It cost Galarraga the perfect game and started a firestorm of controversy.

Commissioner Bud Selig had the chance to rectify it by overturning it and chose not to. Her is why I would have changed the play…

1. It didn’t impact the outcome. The play didn’t result in a game-changing situation.

2. Jim Joyce, a veteran and respected umpire, can get off the hook. He and his family have already been torched by name-calling and criticism. Yes, an honest mistake. But, now this will haunt him and his career forever. To overturn the decision makes it go away relatively quickly. He now joins the ranks of the infamous.

3. Galarraga deserves to have the perfect game. He pitched it. There are no doubts. He will likely never come close again. Once in a lifetime.

4. Joyce admits the mistake. That never happens.

5. Precedence has been established. Former commissioner Fay Vincent went through the record books in 1990 and overturned 50 no-hitters.

Orchids to Galarraga for how he handled the situation. George Brett may have handled it differently, I think. Orchids to Jim Leyland from not going Billy Martin on the field. Orchids to Jim Joyce who apologized to Galarraga personally after the game. Onions to Bud Selig who had an opportunity to create a win/win/win for the player, the umpire, and as Tony LaRussa implied, the game.

To me this is a no-brainer. But, that’s just me. What do you think?

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

7 thoughts on “Imperfection: Call to Stand

  1. I disagree Dan. One of the great qualities about sports is that it is decided on the field of play, although this quality is diminishing with instant play review by officials on the field. Baseball is a game that has been played by most people, in pickup games, at sometime in their life (unlike football, hockey etc.) so we know what a bad call can feel like. I feel by letting the botched call stand keeps the game closer to the everyday “Joe Player”. It also teaches our youth that wrong things can and will happen to us, at any time, that can not be fixed.

  2. Just because it always has been, doesn’t mean it should always stay that way. Absolutely, human error occurs. But, if it can be made right, then it should be. That’s why I like instant replay. It’s nice to say that it teaches our youth, but reality is we have more everyday occurrences in life where we can teach them that. There is too much on the line not to use the technology. I think we have come to a point where people just want to get it right.

    When old school baseball people like Tony LaRussa and Derek Jeter agree that the call should be reversed, that speaks volumes.

    Thanks for your comments. We may not agree, but I like hearing from people. Keep those cards and letters coming…I think this could be a fun thread.

  3. The integrity of the game is blemished by this mistake, but to overturn a play after the next play has occurred challenges every play that happens, in every game, forever.

    If anything this “perfect game” will be the most talked about. Years from now when they talk about perfect games, they will do so with the “…and there’s the one where to umpire blew the call on the last out of the game in Detroit.” When the 100th perfect game in baseball history milestone is reached, every commentator will then clarify that statement with “…actually it’s 101 if you count the Detroit game.” This “perfect game” may go down in history as the most memorable. If they change it on the books, it will just be a forgotten statistic that gets lumped in with all the other ones.

    …just my opinion.

  4. It is about joy and sorrow. We saw it all last night during this game!

    “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
    K. Gibran

    Maybe a little deep for a game of baseball but his words transcends sports.
    Success? Yes it is.

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