Last night, as we all did I’m sure, I was outraged that Jim Joyce had stolen away immortality from Armando Galarraga. Today, all that remains is bitter disappointment, and sadness.
There are several dozens of people that will scoff when you call what happened last night a tragedy; tragedies involve human life, they say, not a meaningless game. They’re right. In the grand scale, Joyce’s blown call doesn’t impact anyone’s actual well-being, apart from Joyce and Galarraga that is.
What happened last night in Detroit, that terrible thing, didn’t cost anyone their life, or their livelihood, but it did alter the lives of two men. One will now forever be known as the man whose missed call took history away from another. The pitcher lost his chance to be forever remembered in what will likely become an otherwise unremarkable career.
Word around the interwebs is that Commissioner Bud Selig is meeting with his advisers to discuss the matter. There is a sentiment that Joyce’s call could be overturned, righting a terrible wrong. Galarraga did in fact throw his perfect game, he did in fact record 28 outs in doing so. What would be the problem with making it official? (…)
There is a precedent here. The Pine Tar call was overturned after the fact, and weeks later the Royals and Yankees picked up that game from the point of the disputed call. This is so much more simple.
This play was the final out, there would have to be no resumption of play.
A few weeks back, the Tigers and Indians played a wild, 4-inning game that was called due to rain. Everything that happened in that game did actually take place, I saw it, but the record books will show no record of it ever happening, thanks to the rain. All of the stats were erased as well. That’s all this would be.
Jason Donald would have his line changed from 1-for-3 to 0-for-3, and Trevor Crowe will see his 0-for-4 become and 0-for-3.
It really is that simple.
What’s the worst that can happen? That Galarraga is given credit for what he actually accomplished? That Joyce is absolved of the errant call? That one of the best and most respected umpires, one that has never tried to be part of the game, gets to continue being known for his mustache instead of a bad call?
I wrote yesterday that I disagreed with the folks who are clamoring for instant replay, but I can certainly see their side of the argument.
Not only does Selig have the authority to make this right, he has the authority to take the spotlight off of a man who doesn’t deserve having to live with this call, and put it back on a man who deserves to be recognized for his achievement.
Do the right thing here, Bud, reverse the call. Even if it means adding replay to the games. Do it for the betterment of the game, the fans will come around to it.
Do it so that two men can go on about their lives the way they deserve to; one as an unknown but great umpire, and one as an author of a perfect game.