Friday, June 4, 2010

Joyce and Galarraga

"It brought out the best in everyone. Everyone involved handled themselves in the way we would hope they would, the way we hope we would. Except for us. Except for the fans and the media and the pundits. We freaked the hell out." ~ Will Leitch of New York Magazine

This is a key statement in Leitch's article about the botched call in the Tigers vs. Indians game that denied Armando Galarraga his perfect game and I agree with it. From Joyce's unsolicited admission of his missed call to his tearful apology to Galarraga to Galarraga bringing the lineup card to Joyce in the next game--all parties showed gentlemanly class. The fan buzz and media pieces all over the Internet showed something else and for the most part it was far from classy. It is sad when supposed sports experts say things like "Selig must overrule call" or fans say things like "coverup attitude of MLB regarding this is worthy of the Soviets or Communist China" and "Joyce deserves to be fired" while the parties actually involved act like perfect gentlemen. I will be the first to admit that I do not like umpires. I think they have too much power and not enough oversight which means there is abuse from time-to-time (this time it was not abuse, it was a mistake). I will also be the first to admit that I have done more than my share of yelling at umpires on the TV because of messed up calls but the above things are stepping over the line, even for me.

Where should baseball go from here? Well, contrary to all the fan suggestions, firing Joyce is completely out of the question. That simply shows a depraved need for "bloodlust and vengeance" and if I were Galarraga I would tell those fans in no uncertain terms that I would rather them go be fans of someone else. The thought that this "proves" that baseball "needs" instant replay for all plays is almost equally as bad. Baseball is a game that has always had the human element involved and the human element in calls is part of what makes baseball what it is. Besides, games are already 3 to 3.5 hours long and I would be willing to bet that the people who yell the loudest for instant replay would be the first to complain when the games get longer because of it. Should Bud Selig overturn the call? Absolutely not. Baseball has never retroactively overturned a call and as disappointing as this bad call was it is not a good place to start. If you start retroactively overturning calls then I am sure the Padres would like the chance to clench the NL West again that they were robbed of back in the 2007 tie-breaker game with the Rockies where Matt Holliday was called safe at home when he was really out (as the replay showed). As emotional and disappointing as this botched call was it is no reason to change over 100 years of history. What should MLB do? How about move on? Detroit has moved on saying they will not ask to have the called overturned and MLB is not going to do it anyway. The media and fans need to do the same.

You know what else very sad about this whole controversy? It shrouded the retirement of the one of the shining stars of the past 20 years of baseball, Ken Griffey Jr. A man who has had 13 all-star appearances, 1,836 RBI, and 630 home runs (fifth all time) deserves more than to be drowned out by media overreaction.

By His Grace,

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