Via multiple sources on Twitter, Bud Selig has issued a statement regarding last night’s near perfect game. At this time, the call will not be overturned, though he did not expressly rule out the possibility.
Instead, Selig chose to congratulate Armando Galarraga for his historic effort and state that while the human element is integral to the game, he would be taking steps to examine broader use of instant replay going forward.
This isn’t really news, in my opinion. At no point did I think Selig would have the guts to overturn Jim Joyce’s errant call.
Selig did exactly what I expected him to do; he shrugged his shoulders, threw his hands in the air, and said he would look deeper into the issue. This is standard operating procedure for Selig whenever he is faced with a controversial decision. (…)
I can understand the ramifications that such a decision would bring. There would be cries from St. Louis to Minnesota to Baltimore about previous umpire errors that proved costly. Where would it have ended? But this was a special circumstance that would not have changed the outcome of a game, it would have ended the game one batter earlier, that all.
So instead of having the guts to stand up for what was right, Selig shyly slumped away from the problem, much as he has done far too many times in the past.
In choosing not to decide, Selig still has made a choice. He chose to take the easy way out, he chose to pay lip service to a growing public outcry. He chose to be spineless at a time when baseball needed its leader to have a spine.
In short, Bud Selig knew that the right thing to do was to correct a highly correctable mistake, but he didn’t have to gumption to do so. He feared the public backlash, he didn’t want their wrath.
Instead, he hung his umpire, Jim Joyce, out to dry, alone to face that backlash himself. Joyce will never live this call down, it will follow him for the rest of his career, for the rest of his life.
Joyce had the option of not working today’s game featuring the Tigers and Indians. He stepped up and said he was a big boy and he would take what was coming to him. He has shown a classiness and a dignity that is beyond that of Selig.
Joyce made a decision that cost Armando Galarraga baseball immortality. Then he owned his mistake and has accepted the punishment. Selig could have eased the burden, taken the heat off of Joyce’s mistake and placed it squarely on his own shoulders. He chose not to do so.
And why? For fear of what the public would say. There is no honor in that.