Toronto Baseball Guys
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
  "Perfect" Game Perspective
Kudos to Bud Selig for quickly rejecting the notion of overturning the final out of Armando Galarraga's perfect game that wasn't. That's a Pandora's Box that must remain forever closed, however bad it may sting. Until the 1985 Cardinals get a do-over on game 6, they don't want to hear anyone whining about missing a perfect game.

As to more instant replay in the game, baseball is neither as fast moving as hockey, nor as clock dependent as basketball, so I'm going to have to go purist here and say it's really not necessary. Sure, it hurts when your team gets hosed on a call, as it has for 125 years, but it happens pretty rarely. How many times have you come out of your seat on a close call, only to have the umpire proven right on the replay?

Rarer still are the blown calls that actually change the outcome of a game. For guys who go to work and have their every move recorded and their every mistake scrutinized and countlessly replayed, the umpires remain remarkably accurate.

We do live in the the era of technology and "get it right," but to take that to its ultimate end, on-field umpires would no longer be required. Just set up the right number of cameras, including one in dead centre field, and have balls, strikes and outs posted on the Jumbotron.

Every call would be correct and, with no umpires to argue with, the games might even speed up. They'd also become terribly anti-septic. Baseball without umpires just wouldn't be as much fun. Who would Lou Pinella throw bases at? Home run replay is replay enough.

Jim Joyce deserves tremendous credit for the best "man-up" mea culpa in recent years. How refreshing was it to hear a public apology without the words "sex addiction" involved? Can anyone doubt that Joyce thought he made the right call, or that he wanted to make the right call? He didn't disappear into therapy or rehab, he was back on the field the next day, and his should become the blueprint for all future apologies.

As for Mr. Galarraga, the loss of the perfect game in such a manner is heart-breaking in ways that even Dave Stieb never imagined. That said, what did he really lose? You can argue notoriety, except that he gained far more notoriety than the two pitchers who DID throw perfect games. At the end of the day, he threw a one-hit shutout, gained the sympathy of an entire continent and received a new car for his troubles. I humbly submit that people have had worse days at work.
 
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