Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Imperfect End to a Perfect Game

In a recent span of a week or so in which umpire malfeasance has repeatedly reared its ugly head, last night's incident clearly takes the cake.

I'm sure you have all heard by now of Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga being denied a perfect game vs the Cleveland Indians, Wed night in Detroit, after umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at 1B that would've resulted in the final out of the game. (Btw, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera deserves at least 10% of the blame for what eventually went down--what the hell was he doing chasing a grounder clearly in the path of the second baseman, instead of covering his base?!)

This was a disaster, plain and simple. And baseball fans round the whole world, not just here in the US, witnessed the sad debacle.

Commissioner Bud Selig should overturn the call, which, if I'm not mistaken would require the Tigers, Indians, and umpire Joyce to sign off. As for issues of MLB credibility taking a hit if the call were to be overturned, well, they turned a blind eye to obvious steroid use after fans returned to the game, following the '94 strike--so much for credibility. And there is precendent for changing calls--the infamous 1983 Yankees-Royals "pine tar game" comes to mind--why not do the right thing for a change?

Anyone w/a sense of fair play should not object to this perfect game being awarded, especially when the end result of the game itself was subsequently not altered as a result of the blown call. I'm a Yankee fan and Galarraga is not one of the non-Yankees I follow, but I'm a baseball fan as well. And I felt lucky to at least have caught the game from the 8th inning on, only to be utterly dismayed by the call when it went down.

Joyce candidly recognized his mistake after the game and approached Galarraga with what has been reported as a very sincere apology. That was classy. So was Galarraga's reaction to the whole thing. Let's hope Selig will follow in their footsteps and do what's right.

Oh, and yeah: Junior retired. It took a fuck up of historic proportions to overshadow the news of a living legend saying goodbye. Jeez...


  1. The difference between the "pine tar" game of 1983 (The image of George Brett going postal never gets old) is that the call was overturned due to a procedural error interpreting the rules, not a judgement call. Bud Selig is very concerned with the integrity of the game, and he has no interest in overturning a judgement call, regardless of whether or not it's the right thing to do. Personally, overturning the call gives everyone what they want...Galarraga gets his much deserved perfect game, Jim Joyce is redeemed in some way, and baseball goes forward two steps after the steroid mess, as it would be the fourth no-hitter this year. But this is a commissioner who called a tie in an All-Star game, so good luck with that.

  2. The difference between the pine-tar incident and this perfect game is clear with regards to what you state. But a bigger disparity IMHO is that overturning the former did affect the outcome of the game, whereas granting Galarraga his perfecto would not negatively change things for those involved and would correct a grave and historic injustice. The rules are to be followed but they don't exist in a vacuum, and that's why Selig should've done the right thing.