Thursday, June 03, 2010

Righting the Wrongs?

Many teams complain about officiating. And most of them are losers.

Rarely does a winning team do it. But last night, the Tigers did and with good reason. Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game on what should have been the last out. Instant replay says it was. The umpire said it wasn’t. The umpire wins that one.

The umpire later admitted he missed it, which itself was an extraordinary step from a class of type A personalities who just can’t bring themselves to admit mistakes. And why should they? They would be in the back of a very long line of people willing to admit the umpire blew it. Nope, that’s why you have make-up calls.

Now, rumor has it that Bud Selig is considering reversing the call and reinstating the perfect game.

You see, what happened last night was wrong. And Bud Selig is the only one who can right it.

Here’s my advice: Don’t do it, Bud.

Not because it wouldn’t be just. It would be just. In fact, it’s the only just thing to do.

But baseball is not a game of justice … not on the field.

It’s a game of weather that, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to care what inning it is. It is not just when the top half of the inning is played in torrential downpour and the bottom half is played in sunshine. It’s not just that the Marlins play their early season games in 70 degree sunshine, and the Tigers play theirs in 50 degree rain.

It is a game of humans who, oddly enough, do very human things including making mistakes. And like life, we have to live with them.

In baseball you don’t get do-overs. Not when the firstbaseman lets that ball between his legs, and not when the umpire gets it wrong.

As it stands, Galarraga will not (and should not) have a perfect game on his record. At least, not yet. But he will be more famous than anyone who ever pitched a perfect game.

Remember the last perfect game pitcher? Quick, without using google, name a perfect game from last year, or the year before. (Oddly enough, there’s been two this year already, which is the exact same number as there has been in the previous ten years.)

See my point? If you knew that answer, you are a baseball geek. But if you knew that answer, you already know you are a baseball geek. And you probably agree with me.

No one in baseball will ever forget Galarraga.

And Bud Selig will never have to answer the question, “You overruled that call. Why don’t you overrule this one?”


Andy Efting said...

Galarraga will always be famous for this incident and people will recognize his feat.

I agree...there is no way Selig should overturn this ruling. Where would it stop? If baseball wants to review close calls, then they need to implement a formal instant replay process as part of the game.

Chuck Hervas said...

I say Selig should overturn the call. He can correct a huge injustice that has historical implications. He can create a category of review that does not "open the floodgates." I say he waits until the baseball season is over and then reverse the call for the books.