Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game with imperfect results.
Shortly after the game in which he beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 on a “1 hitter,” MLB declined to comment on first base umpire Jim Joyce botching the call that took a no-run, no-hit perfect game from Galarraga. Commissioner Bud Selig has apparently decided to do nothing about it. Why? Well, I’m guessing to preserve the psuedo-purity or the economic sanctity of the game.
“I’ve never had a moment like this,” Galarraga said. A tearful Joyce asked for a chance to apologize after his blown call. “You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry,’” Galarraga said. “He felt really bad. He didn’t even shower.” Yeah, because the call stunk. It really freakin’ stunk.
Well, boys and girls, let’s take a few snowballs to hell and see if they will survive for three minutes or more because more than likely Joyce will blow a few more calls before he retires as an umpire but there is a distinct possibility that Armando Galarraga will never again pitch a perfect game.
What is wrong with Bud Selig or should he be called “Bugsy Siegel?” Was there a huge line in Vegas that grew after the seventh inning? Were the big boys with fat cigars in smoke-filled rooms betting against the young Detroit pitcher?
The American League implemented the DH or designated hitter rule in 1973 to give the offense more “juice.” Hmm, I was always under the distinct impression that baseball players were supposed to perform on offense and defense. How many hitters over the years have went undetected using “juiced” or “corked” bats? Do the umpires check all the bats used for competition on a daily basis? Selig and his cronies turned the other cheek while they were being smacked around by players using illegal steroids right in their “grill.” But you know what? Is it possible that they could not have cared less as long as the turnstiles clicked and the television and radio ratings soared off the charts? Selig could have made a molehill out of a mountain by “just hitting rewind, baby.”
Bud Selig once indicated that he was [possibly agonizing] in regards to attending the game or games leading up to the contest in which San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds was projected to eventually break the home run record of Hank Aaron. Does this mean that Bud Selig will never again attend a game in which Jim Joyce is part of the officiating crew? Will there be an asterisk next to this game?
Some say that instant replay will dilute the purity of the game. Well, now answer this question for me. Which is more important, the purity of the game or the integrity of the game? Where I come from there is no purity without integrity.
In 1999 the instant replay challenge system returned to the NFL and in 2010 referees still blatantly blew some calls. Overturning decisions that should have been left standing and allowing calls to remain static that should have been changed but regardless of the flaws of the instant replay system of the NFL, at least they have a system. I am not saying that baseball field managers should have the option of throwing a “red flag” to challenge every bad call that they perceive as incorrect but something must be done to preserve the remaining credibility of the game.
Craig Cataterra from NBC Sports’ “Hardball Talk” has this to say. “It is absolutely imperative that baseball implement some form of replay now, this season before the playoffs. The best way, in my view, is to simply station a fifth umpire in the official scorer’s box. Give him the same feed the broadcast guys have. Give him a buzzer and, when an obviously bad call like this one happens have him call down to the crew chief and overturn the call. I’d take it a step further. While the logistics of the in-park review system are designed and implemented, put somebody at headquarters on a monitor for each game. Give those people—I don’t care if they’re summer interns—a hard line to whatever phone in the ballpark connects to someone able to stop play immediately.”
The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Selig nine that day:
The score stood three to nothing with but one more out to go.
The ball whistled toward the plate, and there would be no doubt.
His eyes became as big as Bambi’s. The Mighty Selig has struck out.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.583.6741.)