The blown call

Perfect games come, perfect games go. Yes, they’re rare. But not always so memorable. Can you name every pitcher who has accomplished the feat? How about half the pitchers?

Neither can I.

Tonight, however, thanks to a horribly blown call, we will always remember the names Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga. They will go down in baseball history. They might even become adjectives. Or verbs. Or both. “That guy threw a Galarraga.” “Man, he Joyced him.”

The media has already begun its pouting and moaning. We need instant replay! We must have instant replay! Where’s instant replay! I say, no. No way. Baseball is a game of human error. Of dropped fly balls and terrible swings and flubs and gaffes and … you get the idea. Part of that human error involved umpires, and the understanding that, every so often, they’ll completely screw up. Sometimes it backfires terribly (like tonight), but more often than not it merely adds to the debate—He missed that call! No, he didn’t! Yes, he did! I love that sort of arguing; it makes things fun and interesting and unpredictable. And human.

That said, there can be exceptions to all rules. Factually, a perfect game was thrown tonight. Factually. The final of 27-straight outs was recorded. The ball was caught. The base was stepped on. Some way or another, Bud Selig should hold a press conference and overturn the call. It’s one thing if there’s a debate. Some debate. Any debate. Tonight, however, there is none. So if we all can agree it was perfect, it’s perfect. Period.

But to change everything? To go instant replay on such calls?

No. No way.

7 thoughts on “The blown call”

  1. I don’t see the problem with replay. I just watched the Stanley Cup Final game and they went to replay on two possible goals and got both calls right (one counted, one didn’t). Waiting a minute or two is a small price to pay when the stakes are that important.

    By the way, as a Cardinal fan, that play brought back some horrible memories from 1985.

  2. Overlooked in all this is the fact that, since Joyce thought the runner beat the play (umpires are taught to watch the bag for footwork and listen for the ball; this ball rattled in Galarraga’s glove a little and may not have been heard due to crowd noise) . . but, since he didn’t signal a juggle on the play, OS Chuck Klonke really had no choice but to rule the play a hit. Not only was perfection lost, but a no-hitter that could easily have been preserved with a call of “juggled”.

    Still, Joyce, who always has been a stand-up guy in the past, truly was one again tonight. And, since we all make mistakes, some of us, huge ones, that’s really all we can ask.

    On the other side, Armando Galarraga might have displayed as much cool, focus, and sportsmanship as I’ve ever seen on a baseball diamond.

  3. Do you realize how dumb it sounds to defend not using instant replay by just saying that the game is unpredictable and that human error is part of the game? Human error used to be part of the game because the use of instant replay wasn’t really available — now it is.

    How long would it have taken the umpires to watch the play and determine that the runner was out? Not more than a few minutes.

    And yes, obviously, most people consider it a perfect game. But because of the call, technically it wasn’t. That should mean something.

  4. I’m a born and raised fan of the Detroit Tigers, but I don’t think Selig should overturn this call.

    Like Leyland said, the human aspect of baseball is such a huge part of it, that to overturn the call would (a) undermind the umpires, and (b) set a dangeround precedent (in my opinion.)

    Let’s admire the game he pitched for what it was, but the moment has passed.

  5. didn’t mlb reverse like 50 past no-hitter for various reasons sometime in the 80’s? Maybe I’m not remembering this correctly?

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