As you may have heard, a no-name pitcher from Detroit nearly threw a perfect game yesterday against the Cleveland Indians. Armando Galarraga retired the first 26 batters, bringing up number 27 with the chance to make (recently watered down, but still) history...induced a ground ball that first baseman Miguel Cabrera fielded....threw to Galarraga at first...and the umpire, Tim Joyce, called the runner safe.
Video showed otherwise.
So, after Galarraga retired the next batter, there is a bit of an outcry for Bud Selig to change the call.
Now, whether you think he should or not, if you can't see both sides of this issue, then you're crazy. If you think Bud Selig is an idiot for not changing it, you are insane. If you think changing this call means that Selig now has to change every borderline call in every single game from this point forward, then you are also insane.
No matter which decision Selig decided to make, people would be all over him for it. Because he's Bud Selig. Selig decided that the call would stand. Mike Celizic decided that this displayed a lack of leadership. Celizic, however, is clearly insane.
You should have reversed the call, Bud. For the first time in your irresolute reign as commissioner of Major League Baseball, you could have been a leader.
I don't get it. Sure, Selig may not be the best commissioner in baseball history. But people pile on him like no other sporting executive. Roger Goodell doesn't get this much criticism. So Selig called an All-Star game a tie. Who the fuck cares? It's an exhibition game. Is that not leadership? What should he have done? Do you think whoever was managing the Cubs at that time would have liked seeing Sammy Sosa pitch in an All-Star game? You blew it, Bud. Could have been a leader! Honestly, someone please explain how Selig deciding this case either way shows leadership or a lack thereof. I'll be here all week.
When you have the ability to correct an injustice, you also have an obligation to do just that. Bud Selig had the ability and the authority to reverse umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call and declare Armando Galarraga the newest owner of a perfect game.
Bud Selig also had the ability to call whoever hit the flyball that Jeffrey Maier caught for a homerun out. He could have corrected that injustice. Replay was pretty clear that it wouldn't have been a homerun. I guess Selig could have called it a double and resumed the game from there. And that would have been INSANE.
Bud Selig may not want to open the door to commissioner-revised calls. And whether you agree with him or not, you should be able to see where he's coming from. Unless you are Mike Celizic and you like to argue just for the sake of arguing.
What’s great about this is that the situation is unique. It’s never happened that a pitcher lost a perfect game on the last out because of a clear mistake by an umpire that’s right there on a DVD for all to see. So there is no precedent to break, just one to set.
There is the precedent that commissioners don't change calls retroactively. Who cares how unique it is? A commissioner has never throw the first pitch on opening day with his dick out. Doesn't automatically make it a good idea.
Correcting Joyce’s call from safe to out would have taken a hit away from Jason
This was a no-brainer decision, which means Selig was singularly qualified to make it. There were no ramifications other than to correct an egregious injustice and relieve Joyce of the crushing guilt he feels at having blown the biggest call of his life. The game result would remain the same. The score would remain the same.
This is not a no-brainer decision. This is the commissioner stepping in and changing a call. That NEVER fucking happens. Does it? If it does, show me where. Selig absolutely could not win here, no matter which way he decided to act.
Like it or not, this would set a precedent that is...that is unprecedented. Or something.
The argument against changing the call is that it lets the night crawlers out of the can. If you correct this call, then you have to correct others, starting with Don Denkinger’s blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series between the Royals and the Cardinals.
Those damn night crawlers. Some people think this may open Pandora's rectangular storage contraption. I disagree. Anyway, if a Douglas Fir falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, can you really detect any decibels? As a wise man once said, give a man a rainbow trout, you'll feed him for...I have no idea where I'm going with this. Who the fuck says night crawlers instead of worms?
It’s a convenient argument raised by people who can’t bring themselves to do the right thing. After all, baseball has been doing the wrong thing and defending it as tradition for more than a century. Acting against reason is a hallmark of the game.
Yes. You had better hope that you don't suffer a heart attack around people who raise this argument. BECAUSE THEY WILL STAND THERE AND WATCH YOU DIE.
Football fans have to be laughing themselves silly over this. Their sport has a mechanism to correct bad calls, so this doesn’t happen in football games. It wouldn’t happen in a basketball game, either, where officials can check the replay to determine if a last-second shot is a two-pointer or a three-pointer and whether the player got it off before or after the buzzer.
Yeah, watching an umpire blow a perfect game for a guy who will almost certainly never have this chance again has me LOL-ing.
But not baseball. Baseball is a game that insists on doing things the old-fashioned way for no good reason other than that’s the way it’s always been done. That’s how the game managed to get to 1947 before it allowed a black to play. It’s why the game tolerated and even encouraged cheating by pitchers for generations. It’s why the game continues its inexplicable and indefensible opposition to replay for anything other than home run calls.
Baseball, football, hell....fucking AMERICA didn't let black people play during this time period, either. Do you think baseball was staging race riots or something? Was it baseball that had whites-only drinking fountains? Was baseball barring black players from attending the same high schools as white players? Black Americans were only allowed to do two things in 1942...shine shoes and play jazz. That's it. So don't blame this blown call on Satchel Paige.
But the ban on blacks was broken and cheating by pitchers has been eliminated. So saying that this call cannot be changed because baseball has never done such a thing before is not a valid argument. In the old days, the technology didn’t exist. Now it does.
You have to be fucking joking. Now that black players are allowed to play in the major leagues, you can't say that this is a bad idea because it's never been done before? Holy fucking mother of God Shammgod. He's right...change everything you feel like changing. Black people are now part of the fabric of our great national pastime.
Also, Celizic railing about baseball being stuck in the past and not catching up with time is absolutely hilarious. Just read the first entry here.
Besides, baseball does have a mechanism for changing results. It’s called the protest, and, while it doesn’t apply to blown calls, the intention of the protest rule — to correct a violation of the rules of the game — is the same. And a protest can change a result. This would not.
Then why don't they protest?
The good thing about this controversy is that it turns up the pressure on Selig to allow replay on such calls, and the sooner the better. Others have weighed in on that issue, so all I’ll say is that at the same time Selig announces that Donald was out, he should also announce a replay system. I’d give each manager one challenge a game, with a league official in a booth to demand replays of questionable last-inning calls. Do it right and it won’t add appreciably to the length of the games.
I would absolutely love to see what Celizic's thoughts on instant replay were...oh, last week. As I saw written elsewhere...if you weren't for instant replay before but are not strongly behind it...fuck you.
In any event, umpires aren’t wrong that often. In most games, the replay would never come up.
I bet it would come up almost every single game.
But that’s for the future. Selig had to break another stupid tradition and reversed this call. It wasn't a matter of exercising his discretion, but of doing his duty to the game.
It’s not about games that happened last year or last century or in 1985 in Kansas City. It’s about a unique situation that happened yesterday.
You could have started a new tradition, Bud. Call it “doing the right thing” or “simple justice.” You could even go back to the commissioner’s catch-all explanation for everything: the integrity of the game.
If this didn't qualify as a matter of integrity, nothing does.
Oh, fuck you, Mike Celizic. Integrity? You have to be joking. Not changing this call shows a lack of integrity? That is absolute balderdash! It's rubbish! Honestly, just like leadership...does integrity even come into play either way here?
What a bad day to be Budmund F. Selig.