Friday, June 04, 2010

Sentiment Is Understood And Why, But I Still Wouldn't Overturm The Call

Bud Selig isn't going to overturn Jim Joyce's decision. Armando Galarraga isn't going to get his perfect game. The official scorer isn't going to come to the rescue like a knight on a white charger (hey, that just isn't Chuck Klonke's style) and call it an error to give Galarraga a no hitter.
And my first inclination is that nothing should change - the game should stand as is.
I just don't see how you can retrace those moments and change them arbitrarily.
There is no way the play can be called an error. Ump missed the call, but there is no replay or protest written in the rules for judgment calls like that.
But I must admit, these circumstances are unique to any other play in baseball history. Nothing has been like it. Ever. What is the saying, the commissioner can rule for the best interest of the game?
I'd be a lot more open to it for this particular incident than virtually any other I can think of.
I do, however, still feel it would open Pandora's Box for similar rulings, on far less compelling plays, in the future.
That's always the danger of such arbitrary decisions. But I confess, it would be more tolerable in this case.

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19 Comments:

Blogger Larry Baker said...

I agree that Gallaraga case is unique, but I am surprised that I have not seen him compared at all to Harvey Haddix, who on May 26, 1959, threw 12 perfect innings at the Braves in Milwaukee, 36 up and 36 down. . . .and lost!

At least the Tigers squeaked out three runs so that Armando could stop stay perfect (in our imaginations, I guess) after 28 batters.

11:13 AM 
Blogger Tiger Fan said...

Seriously, the Pandora's box scenario is ridiculous, there's never been another incident like this, you said it yourself. For the sake of Galaraga, and even Joyce it should be overuled. Good piece here; http://www.edgeofsports.com/2010-06-03-539/index.html

11:20 AM 
Anonymous Erik K said...

This is uncharted territory, and while watching the game I got the sense this was how it was meant to be. This authenticity of baseball needs to be preserved, although it definitely is disappointing to us Tigers fans, and I think thats why Bud Selig kept it how it is.

2:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,
There is precedence for this, the George Brett "Pine tar" game. The call on the field was overruled and the game was replayed as I recall.

Alan

5:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,
A baseball great retired this week, Ken Griffey, Jr. Any thoughts?

Alan

5:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No overturn, done, period. Can't do that.

Pat, there's got to be a creative fair way to invoke a replay sytem that smart baseball minds can come up with.

After thinking about it, I now agree that maybe you give each manager the chance to appeal one decision per game BUT with a penalty involved, figure out the penalty. This avoids an appeal on too many calls and diminishes the umpires call, an integral part of the game.

But they could also allow the chief umpire to collect the umpires and ask whether it is permissable to call for a replay.

Now the umpires can talk and protect an umpire like Joyce in making a history-decision. Of course, they would have to be very careful not to question their fellow umpires.

I don't know, there are a lot smarter baseball people than me.

But there has to be a way to use technology to not diminish to game but avoid things like this to happen.

7:22 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I don't see one positive aspect of reversing this call myself (in retrosect of course).

Selig is the guy that gave us the tied all star game made up by the creation of the rul that the winner gets home field advantage in the World Series - along with all that other nonsense.

Selig to overrule this would be another ruling of his that would weaken Galarraga's feat - not cement it. Either way it would be astricked.

I think Galarraga is in far better shape legacy wise with the way things panned out.

The game was played - the final out recorded - and as Tom Leyden ould Tweet - "It's in the books".

And don't get me started on instant replay.

7:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry Baker,
The Haddix game is one of the all time classics. MLB Network had some good stuff one it one night. Amazing performance. And he lost.
Caputo

9:41 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tiger Fan,
I don't think it should be overruled, but like I've said and written, if there was ever a case, this would have to be it.
Caputo

9:42 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Erik K,
I tend to doubt Bud Selig's motives about these type of things. Seems like the tends to hide when he should be upfront. If that's the way he feels about it, why doesn't he come out and explain it to Detroit fans so they know the reasoning? I agree with him on this, but do think he should explain why.
Caputo

9:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Alan,
That was a rule's decision and whether to enforce it to the letter of the rule or not, this is a judgment call issue. Two different things.
Caputo

9:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Alan,
Unfortunately for Griffey Jr, the sleeping issue and this strange baseball moment have overshadowed his retirement. Always seems to be a sad thing, too, when a player retires in the middle of a season. Only thing missing from his resume was a championship. Everything else suggests he was one of the top dozen players of all time.
Caputo

9:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I'm with you on both fronts. Don't overturn and come up with replay, but make it difficult to just call. It can't be something that is routinely called for every game. Then it would become a farce.
Caputo

9:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
True. Galarraga is coming out of this in better position than if he had actually thrown the perfect game. Fans will never forget the way he handled this.
Caputo

9:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That was a rule's decision and whether to enforce it to the letter of the rule or not, this is a judgment call issue. Two different things."
Caputo

.

.

Different things, yes, Book, but the situations are identical. Both were end-of-game situations where sober thought could be directly applied after-the-fact, without disrupting the "flow" of the game. We're not reaching back 5 innings to a stolen base call or anything.

The pine tar incident judgment call is in fact even more complex than the Galarraga thing, which is a no-brainer. You don't even have to replay part of the game, as with the Brett incident. You just decide and that's that. Re Brett, Baseball might have accepted the umpire's decision and gone forward, as it too was a judgment call on the field. They didn't. I don't think they should here either.

I'd say these situations are analogous, and in fact, Galarraga's is even more cut and dried. No asterisks required here. 27 straight outs, and you can watch every one of them on video, even the last one.

Like many here, I'm a traditionalist, and I wouldn't be saying this over any other call, likely. But this one is a no brainer.

9:05 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I understand there is logical and rationale that can be used for overturning the call, but I don't think it is a no-brainer. I do agree it's not necessarily a no-brainer the other way because of tradition. This is a truly unique circumstance.
Caputo

7:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Book, I agree it is a unique circumstance, but it's only unique because there were 26 consecutive outs to start the game, and I bet THAT has only happened in the 20 perfect MLB games that history has recorded, plus no more than a handful of times where the 27th batter got a hit following those 26 outs, including Wilcox as I recall. I'll bet Galarraga in part of less than 30 pitchers who have ever done that... gotten the first 26 out.

Then, on top of THAT rarity, the umpire blew the call on the 27th out! Now we're talking UNIQUE. I feel even worse for Joyce now!

So yes, you're correct, this one's "unique", but not because of the complexity of the situation on the field... because that is very simple, and easily analyzed after the fact. And the fact that the out was made on the 27th batter allows us to TRULY say, after-the-fact, that the true outcome of the game was that the 27th batter should have been called out.

Just like with the Brett situation, except no need to play the final inning and a 1/3. You just review the videotape, and make the proper call.

This really is a no brainer. It's only stubbornness that will keep this from being overturned.

What's that somebody once said? "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of a simple mind".

9:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous.
I think we can all agree that Bud Selig needed to react differently than what he did - which was to not react at all.
Caputo

2:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know what, Book? Selig left the door open, if you review that statement I saw. I don't blame him. It's better to leave the door open, and let emotions cool, let the sports talk radio and chatrooms quiet down, then make a sober judgment at that point. I'm a traditionalist, and I believe that's "best" for baseball, no matter what he ultimately decides. A quick preemptive decision isn't the way to do business. Yes, there was a mistake, but that doesn't mean you break out of sound historical practice, even though it was a very significant blown call.

He did say that they'd be looking at video replay hard. That was the correct message, imo. But I also bet he overturns this call later on.

7:02 PM 

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