In the third part of the series, the heel turn part of my mind tells youthat Major League Baseball, not Jim Joyce, is to blame for the perfect game fiasco
Unless you’ve been away from televisions, newspapers and every social networking website on the Internet, you’re probably aware that Major League Umpire Jim Joyce had a bad Wednesday night. His screw up on what should have been the final out of the Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers game cost Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Joyce has since admitted his error but that hasn’t saved him from quite the angry baseball fan base. Practically every baseball fan with a computer is calling for the immediately firing of Jim Joyce. There are already websites in favor of the cause.
I see the Jim Joyce perfect game incident for what it truly is; a blessing in disguise. Even the devil himself can feel sorry for a young man such as Armando Galarraga, an athlete robbed of history for no good reason whatsoever. Like the devil’s nemesis, Galarraga will forever be remembered for making a sacrifice. Galaragga sacrificing his perfect game will bring upon the death of something far more meaningful in the world of Major League Baseball.
The death of the human element.
Major League Baseball fans need to stop giving Jim Joyce grief over the (non) perfect game and direct their anger where it really belongs. Joyce made a mistake. Nobody, not even Jim Joyce himself, is denying that. You make mistakes all of the time. Every day of your life, when you go to a job that you hate, stay in the wrong relationship, watch Glee or take the elevator instead of walking up a flight of stairs because you got wrecked on a work night, you’re making an error. Unlike umpires such as Jim Joyce, your mistakes aren’t broadcast for the world to see. And unlike Jim Joyce, you choose to not fix your mistakes. Major League Baseball could easily rectify blunders made by umpires.
It’s time for Major League Baseball to add full instant replay to all games played in the league. Not next season. Not for the postseason. Immediately. The result of 99 percent of every “bang-bang” play in baseball can be determined using high definition instant replay. Why not get the call right every time?
Major League Baseball and every player in the union deserved what happened during Wednesday night’s perfect game saga. Without full instant replay, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. As sad as it might be for Armando Galarraga and Tigers fans to admit, a player losing a perfect game is hardly the worst case scenario. Just imagine if Joyce’s miscue occurred during the final inning of a World Series.
OH WAIT A MINUTE.
Instant replay hasn’t hurt a single sport. Basketball uses it for three point shots and buzzer beaters. The NFL and college football use replays in (practically) every game. If anything, Major League Baseball could learn something from the NHL. Have a geek sitting in a booth at the ballpark watching the game on an HD monitor. Whenever there is a close call, said geek buzzes the home plate umpire or vice versa. A decision is made and the game continues.
I don’t want to hear “instant replay will slow down baseball games!” from a single one of you. I guarantee you that having instant replay in last night’s Indians-Tigers game would not have extended the contest anywhere near the length of a normal Saturday afternoon Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees snooze fest. The right call and no Tim McCarver? Sign me up.
Sports fans, baseball fans especially, need to give Jim Joyce a break. Chances are that, if you’re reading this, you wouldn’t make it half a game as a Major League Baseball umpire. Millionaire athletes, angry managers and drunken idiots in the stands jumping down your throat after every call. You’d be downing a bottle of Jack before Take Me Out to the Ballgame was played.
And what of Armando Galarraga and his perfect game? Should Major League Baseball “do the right thing” and add his perfect game to the record books? Absolutely not. Leave the game in the books exactly as it stands; as a reminder of the way things were and why they had to change.
Face it. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
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