Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Injustice To Galarraga Could Have Been Avoided

It was one of the best games I can remember being pitched, not only by a Tiger - but by any pitcher.
It was also one of the worst calls I can ever remember - by any umpire.
And it was a total ripoff for the fans and compromised Major League Baseball. It was also unnecessary.
Look, I'm not one to jump all over the umpires. I appreciate what they do. It didn't cost the Tigers the game. But it as also brutal the way it ended. Armando Galarraga deserved so much better. Jim Joyce flatout blew the call Thursday night. Jason Donald was out. Period.

They need to add replay to baseball for close plays on the bases. They need to have one call per game a manager can call so this doesn't happen again. It wouldn't have taken long to overturn the call. It would made sure the call would have been right. There have been plays in the World Series recently that have been similarly wrong. Why not get it right? Just one appeal per game per team. Give up a base runner for the pitching team, and an out for the hitting team if they wrong.

- Joyce has been considered a good umpire for a long time, but he is right. It was the biggest call of his career and he got it wrong.

- Major League Baseball can't just let this go. They have to do something in the form of a suspension for Joyce. There is certainly no way he should be umpiring behind the plate today. Where is Bud Selig on this? What does MLB have to say?

- Galarraga is getting a lot of praise today - and he deserves every bit of it. Not just because of the way he pitched, which was terrific, but also for the way he handled himself afterward. In some ways, it is going to make him more popular in this town than if the perfect game hadn't been ruined. His empathy to Joyce was sincere. If there is anything this town appreciates above anything else, it's those who are persistent. Galarraga, who began this season in the minor leagues, was robbed of his big moment, but didn't bellyache about it. Just the opposite. If there was any comfort for Joyce - it came from Galarraga.

- Austin Jackson would have made it a lot easier if he only hadn't made that great running catch in the ninth inning. What a brilliant play.



Blogger Fred Brill said...


First - We should worship Galarraga folks - because not only was he ripped off a perfect game - but he handled that with more poise and even a smile - happy to have a great game.

That is a man.

This happened just moments ago - so I might still be a bit wired - but what the hell was the umpire thinking? Even a close play - under those circumstances - with the pitcher himself making the play himself at first - has to go to the call HAS to go to the pitcher. And the play was so clearly an out.

Jim Joyce needs to be fined. Selig has to override that call. And that no-no has to be recorded in the history books as a legitimate no-no.

A perfect game is more than a World Series game - it's the ultimate achievement for a pitcher.

That is sickening. Even losing game 163 last year didn't make me as sick as this does.

Great writing on this blog Pat - you really got this up fsast!

9:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely, MLB has been slow in incorporating the replay appeal.

I don't agree with penalizing a team that much for an appeal.

One per game is right on. Appeal, make it fast upstairs, and done.

Managers would be obviously cautious to spend their appeal early .. might need it later in the game .. like in the ninth with two outs while pitcher is pitching a perfect game?

10:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment was apparently lost so i have to type it again!

I agree with Fred. This needs to be overturned. I don't care if it has been done before or not. It was obviously a blown call admitted by the umpire himself. You can't replace the lost "on field" joy that would occurred, but you can make it right for Galaragga's and History's sake.

This isn't changing a Loss to a Win. It does not affect the Indians. It is undisputedly the wrong call. So just make it right in the books.

12:51 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I thought it might be the worst blown call in the history sports. Name one worst? I can't think of one.

1:40 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They have more extensive replay in NFL, NHL and NBA. To not have replay available on base calls makes no sense whatsoever to me.

1:41 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Agreed. The penalty would have to be harsh for teams calling for replay who are wrong. Can't make it too easy - or it could easily get out of hand.

1:43 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Galarraga is a very class act. What a wonderful man he is.

I'm glad Leland blew his stack to protect him, but also glad he let his emotions cool so quickly, and was so calm in the post game interviews. Joyce didn't mean to blow it, he just did. Leland has seen a lot, and now he's seen this. Life goes on.

I'd let Galarraga take the lineup card out to home plate before today's game. Have him wear a pair of those huge gag sunglasses. That would be hilarious.

7:08 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, I wrote my comment in the heat of last nights moment - in a more saner mind this morning I completely realize that call can't be overturned - and as I well I feel bad for Joyce.

7:17 AM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

I thought I saw a year or two ago that MLB encouraged the umpires to confer on questionable calls so to get the call right. Obviously Joyce was in the best position to make the call but the others could see it as well. They wouldn't have seen it as well but they would have seen it.

Why didn't the crew chief immediately gather everybody together and conference this? You know there was another umpire there that got a good enough look at it to tell Joyce he was wrong.

8:23 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I don't know if I'd do that, but I certainly understand your point. Doing the radio show after the game last night, you could sense a serious anger in some calls - even though Joyce was so contrite. It was frustrating, but still just baseball.

9:43 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contarian,
Great point. They certainly did confer during the postseason more. But they still were getting calls wrong. Other umpires weren't in as good position. That's why they need the third eye of the replay. It would have made all the difference in the world last night.

9:45 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I understand the sentiments, but still believe Joyce should be held accountable for what transpired. It's like if a pitcher gives up 10 runs in a third of inning, they don't just put him out there again because he is sorry about it.

9:47 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have never in my life been in such disbelief at the ballpark. I'm still in shock this morning, honestly. I feel lucky enough that I was at Verlander's no-hitter, and I never thought I'd even see that. I certainly never expected to see a perfect game, and to be there and have it taken away is a brutal feeling. This absolutely should've been a wonderful night for not only every single person who was there, players, umpires, fans, broadcasters, writers, but it should've been a night of celebration for the entire city. Now, it's soiled. The only good that came out of this was Joyce's contrition and Galarraga's grace. Armando embodies what everyone in this town should aspire to. That being said, I still feel sick about it, and I think I will for a long time.


10:17 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't fine Joyce because of the conditions of the game, the union wouldn't buy that.

That's because every umpire in the league would have to be fined for bad, missed calls.

This is not an indictment on umpires, they are the best of the best and they will miss calls.

This is on Selig, the turkey with his head in the sand, just like the steroid thing.

10:21 AM 
Blogger Joe said...

Pat, please stop your campaign to expand replay in baseball! We already know that it hasn't eliminated call controversies in football, etc. Replay advocates say, "look how it's worked in the NFL;" and then they go on to say the NFL only needs to do this or that and the system will be better. But lo! there's the case against replay. It doesn't create a perfect system. The additional talk or controversies about blown "reviewed" calls or ineffective replay guidelines doesn't make sports more enjoyable for me as a fan.

10:17 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I understand your concern. If they do put in a system for base calls, I feel they should have war room like they do in the NHL. In the NFL, the refs aren't overturning their own calls enough, at least it seems that way to me.

9:32 PM 

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