Yesterday evening, millions of viewers around the world watched a blown call rob Armando Galarraga of a perfect game. To emphasize the rare nature of this feat, consider that approximately 400,000+ major league games have been played since the league began and their have only been 20 perfect games ever recorded.
The blown call was to be the final out of the game, which served to further magnify the bad call. To Galarraga’s credit, he maintained composure, returned to the mound, and retired the next batter. Within minutes of the game’s conclusion, umpire Jim Joyce, after watching the replay, openly admitted he had blown the biggest call of his life. He then went to the Detroit clubhouse and personally asked the pitcher to forgive him for what he had done.
Today I learned that Bud Selig, current commissioner of baseball, has the power and ability to overturn the call, but sources near the commissioner indicate Selig will not exercise that authority. Many experts in sports believe rewriting sport’s history opens Pandora’s Box. They believe that overturning the call might set a harmful precedent for reversing other calls in the future. These experts, however, are wrong! In fact the only way to protect the integrity of the game is to acknowledge the incorrect call and make it right!
There are several specific circumstances surrounding this incident that set it apart from all others and actually obligates Major League Baseball to correct the error that took place. Consider the following four facts:
1. The error occurred on the last out of the game! The final out of a baseball contest marks its completion. It operates independent from all the preceding outs. Because of that one distinctive quality, making the correction would not create the ‘butterfly effect’ that people often fear.
2. The replay was conclusive. It clearly revealed that the runner was out. Unlike many controversial plays, the replay provided clear documentation from every angle.
3. The umpire recognized his error immediately upon viewing the replay. He openly admitted that he got the call wrong. It is almost criminal to refuse to overturn Jim Joyce’s wrong call thereby forcing him to live with this history changing blunder .
4. The reversal of this call would have no effect on team or league standings and therefore it will not alter the archives of baseball history. Ironically, the one effect Bud Selig’s reversal would accomplish would be the accurate recording of the perfect game we all know took place.
Major league baseball is currently struggling through issues involving steroid abuse, dishonest testimonies from its stars and the increasing greediness of its players and their agents. It has been refreshing to watch the way that Galarraga and Joyce have handled this ‘monumental mistake’ and to see the respect and honor they have shown to one another. They have handled this situation admirably and it is time for Bud Selig to do the same.
Umpire Jim Joyce openly admitted that he blew ‘the biggest call of his career’ on that final play of the game. He has apologized and has tearfully acknowledged his error. Bud Selig is the only individual with the power and authority to correct this obvious wrong. There is still time to do the right thing. If Selig remains silent and doesn’t correct this call, he will be guilty of blowing a call far bigger than any umpire ever could.
Currently our society is being forced to live with the horrible mistakes and errors of others and we are forced to live with the consequences; collapsing economies, epic oil spills, and the consequences of war are just a few.
This blown call which has captured our attention is one mistake that can be reversed. Bud Selig, you are on the clock and I am asking you to make the right call!
(The latest public opinion survey indicates 85% of the people think the call should be changed)