firefly
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 01:24 pm
New York Times
June 2, 2010
Perfect Game Thwarted by Faulty Call
By TYLER KEPNER

When history is in your grasp, the easy thing to do is embrace it. With two outs in the ninth inning in Detroit on Wednesday, the first-base umpire, Jim Joyce, could have called the Cleveland Indians’ Jason Donald out on a close play at first base. Make a fist, raise a forearm, and Armando Galarraga becomes the 21st pitcher " and third in the last four weeks " to throw a perfect game.

The courageous call is the one Joyce made. It was so obviously wrong that Joyce, a major league umpire since 1989, clearly had no desire to help Galarraga make history. He simply called the play as he saw it. The problem, of course, is that Joyce’s decision is easily the most egregious blown call in baseball over the last 25 years.

The last call that was so important and so horribly botched was in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, when another first-base umpire, Don Denkinger, called Jorge Orta of the Kansas City Royals safe at first. Replays showed that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Todd Worrell had touched the bag, with ball in hand, before Orta reached base. Three outs from clinching a title, the Cardinals fell apart and lost the World Series the next night.

Galarraga will never get his perfect game back. His center fielder, Austin Jackson, had kept it alive for him on the first pitch of the top of the ninth, racing on a full sprint to the distant warning track at Comerica Park, fully extending his left arm for a twisting, over-the-shoulder catch. After Mike Redmond grounded out to shortstop, Donald bounced a ball between first and second. Miguel Cabrera fielded it and threw to Galarraga covering.

The ball got there in time. So did Galarraga. He seemed to catch the ball near the top of the webbing; perhaps Joyce did not hear the telltale thwack of ball meeting leather before he heard Donald’s foot cross the base. He spread his arms " safe, an infield single.

The record will show that Donald reached base, even advancing as far as third while Galarraga pitched from the windup and Cabrera yelled at Joyce. Galarraga retired the next hitter to complete a 3-0 shutout, the first of his rather ordinary major league career. The Tigers swarmed Joyce after the game, howling in protest, but they have no recourse; instant replay is allowed only for home runs.

Galarraga became the 10th pitcher in history to lose a perfect game with two out in the ninth inning and the first since the Yankees’ Mike Mussina in 2001. The last perfect game to be lost under similar circumstances was in 1972, when the Chicago Cubs’ Milt Pappas walked Larry Stahl of the San Diego Padres on a 3-2 pitch.

Bruce Froemming was the plate umpire at Wrigley Field that day who called ball four. Pappas flew into a rage, and though he got a no-hitter, he has never wavered in criticizing Froemming, who retired in 2007 after a 37-year career.

“The pitch was outside,” Froemming said Wednesday night in a telephone interview. “I didn’t miss the pitch; Pappas missed the pitch. You can look at the tape. Pappas, the next day, said, ‘I know the pitch was outside, but you could have given it to me.’ That pitch has gotten better over the years. That pitch is right down the middle now.”

In the next day’s Chicago Tribune, Pappas was quoted as saying: “The pitches were balls. They were borderline but balls. Froemming called a real good game.” Pappas has since said he was being diplomatic to avoid a fine for criticizing an umpire.

In a 2007 interview with ESPN, Pappas suggested that Froemming should have given him the benefit of the doubt, for the sake of history.

“I still to this day don’t understand what Bruce Froemming was going through in his mind at that time,” Pappas said. “Why didn’t he throw up that right hand like the umpire did in the perfect game with Don Larsen?”

He added: “It’s a home game in Wrigley Field. I’m pitching for the Chicago Cubs. The score is 8-0 in favor of the Cubs. What does he have to lose by not calling the last pitch a strike to call a perfect game?”

What Froemming would have lost is integrity, even if only he knew. Umpires can show no bias, to a team or to a situation. Froemming never worked the plate for a perfect game, but he never manufactured one, either.

As badly as Joyce missed his call in Detroit on Wednesday, he also did what he thought was right. That is the umpire’s job, even if it was no consolation to Joyce.

“I just cost that kid a perfect game,” Joyce told reporters in Detroit. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay. It was the biggest call of my career.”

Galarraga told reporters that Joyce apologized to him after the game, adding that he had no instinct to argue the call. “He probably felt more bad than me," Galarraga said. Smiling, he added, “Nobody’s perfect.”
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MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has refused to overturn the umpire's bad call.

Galarraga was robbed!

I don't understand why they don't want to use an immediate video replay when so much is riding on one call by the umpire. Galarraga may never get this close to a perfect game again.

I disagree with Selig's decision.
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 01:36 pm
@firefly,
actually, nothing but history was riding on the call...

the results are all the same, other than a nobody infielder got a cheap single to raise his average.

the kid will be more famous for it now than he would have been with the original perfect game.

Joyce may never be the same...
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 01:39 pm
@firefly,
Quote:

For good of the game, Selig needs to reverse ump's blown call
by Frank Deford

A missed call by Jim Joyce cost Detroit's Armando Galarraga a perfect game
Nobody disputes that Cleveland's Jason Donald was out at first base
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has the authority to overturn Joyce's call

There are no do-overs in life.

There are no do-overs in sports. Well, except in tennis, when they are called lets.

When it comes to steroids in baseball, people often ask me, look, we know these guys cheated, why can't their records be eliminated from the rule books? And the answer is, yeah they cheated, and yeah we know it and yeah, some of them have even admitted it, but you can't unravel history. If you remove a Mark McGwire steroided home run, then you have to change the pitcher's ERA and the score of the game, and on and on and on back to Abner Doubleday inventing the game in Cooperstown -- and there goes the Hall of Fame. You can't remove Mark McGwire's home runs anymore than you can remove Mark McGwire. He happened.

Except . . . except: in baseball, like life, there is always the one exception. And here we have it. Yesterday, Armando Galarraga, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, retired the first 26 batters. He retired the 27th, too, but the umpire botched the call at first base and called the runner safe. So Galarraga lost his perfect game because of a brutal injustice.

(Then, just for the record, he got the next guy out, too. Game over . . . again.)

Now, the replay showed conclusively that Galarraga got the 27th batter out. Nobody in the world disputes that, including the distraught umpire, Jim Joyce, once he saw the replay.

Baseball uses replays only in very limited circumstances, because it is stupid. But that's another issue. The point is, we have replays even if baseball wants to play ostrich, and they prove conclusively: Galarraga got the 27th guy out at first base. The game was over. He had a perfect game.

Just as simple is what Commissioner Bud Selig should do: employ that fiat that comes with his position -- "for the good of the game" -- overrule the umpire, and give Galarraga what we all already know he has: a perfect game.

This is the one extraordinary case in all baseball history. If Selig simply says the game ends with the 27th batter out at first base ��-- which he was -- nothing else is affected. If it had been the 25th batter or the 26th, no, you couldn't do it. If there was any doubt at all about the call at first base, no, you couldn't do it. If anybody -- the umpire, the batter, Ebeneezer Scrooge ��-- if anybody in the world disputed it, no, you couldn't do it.

But there is no problem. Giving Galarraga his perfect game is the right thing to do, and it has no adverse affect, nor any affect on history. It's called a gimme, Mr. Commissioner.

There are even analogies. In simple individual sports, like track, when it has been determined, after the fact, that the winner was on drugs, he has simply been lifted out of the race. Justice was done.

Commissioner Selig can give us justice here. He can make everybody happy and hurt no one. For the good of the game. For the good of justice.

Wouldn't that be nice?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/frank_deford/06/03/deford.galarraga/



I think continued pressure should be placed on Selig. If there is enough of an uproar, perhaps he will re-consider.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 01:42 pm
@firefly,
no.

he is the leader of the owners.

they never back up...
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 02:04 pm
This was a commissioner now...

Kenesaw Landis (except for his stance on color, of course)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenesaw_Mountain_Landis

Selig, not so much...
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 02:59 pm
@Rockhead,
Quote:
the kid will be more famous for it now than he would have been with the original perfect game.

Joyce may never be the same...
yep...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 04:48 pm
@firefly,
I read (somewhere) that it is a question of what parts of a ball game will be subject to replays, which , given the myriad call questions, could lengthen games a lot. Apparently Selig has been working for a while to make games less time consuming. I feel sorry for Joyce, who acted honorably, but couldn't get a replay because of the rules.

The same or some other article went on about how human error is part of the ethos (my word), part of the weave of the games.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:17 pm
@firefly,
Joyce has now been given his proper place in baseball infamy with the following Urban Dictionary submission:
Quote:
Joyced
v. To be utterly screwed or devastated. To have a once in a lifetime moment taken away from you.

Hey Fred, did you see that Tigers pitcher by the name of Galarraga get completely Joyced of his perfect game?
by Yetee on Jun 3, 2010
tags: jim joyce, betrayed, screwed, devastated, dream
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 07:17 pm
@ossobuco,
But this was such an extraordinary situation. An admittedly bad call on what should have been the last out in a perfect game, an historic game. With an honest umpire in tears, apologizing to a pitcher who behaved with incredible grace, there is no question that this is a real opportunity for Selig to right a clear wrong. To reverse the bad call would not alter the outcome of the game in any way, but it would give Galarraga the perfect game he rightfully earned, and it would give Joyce some peace of mind about his bad call.

Both Galarraga and Joyce have acted with incredible sportsmanship. I just wish Selig would do the same, "in the best interests of the game".
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 08:23 pm
@firefly,
A special case? Really? Otherwise all similar questions would have to be replayed, with a lot of standing around.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 08:31 pm
Here's one of the few op-eds I've seen advocating for Joyce's call not to be overturned:

Worst Call Ever? Sure. Kill the Umpires? Never.
George Vecsey

Quote:
imperfect umpires are as much a part of this sport as imperfect fielders who muff a pop fly or imperfect runners who neglect to touch a base.

...

If Selig tried to overturn Joyce’s ghastly call, where would that lead? A commissioner sitting in the stands overturning a call in a World Series " or doing it the next day, when everybody is flying home?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 08:42 pm
@Shapeless,
Alas, I can't yet find the article that I read against overturning it. That one cited two other circumstances in the field they'd like to see get replays before touching-base issues, mentioning, as I said, that Selig wanted to speed up the game.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 09:16 pm
@ossobuco,
Osso, what's different in this case is that the final outcome of the game would be totally unaffected by Selig reversing that bad call, and you have an umpire who would be happy if the bad call was reversed. This is a rather unique situation.

It's an injustice to the pitcher because that one bad call keeps him out of the record books. And no harm would be done by Selig righting that injustice.

Reversing the call won't change who won the game, the bad call should have been the last play of the game --Galarraga struck the next man out and the game was over. It would have been over with the previous batter had Joyce made the correct call. And this wasn't an instance where the play at first was so close you really had to look at a video replay to see what occurred--this was just a bad call by Joyce. The sportscaster announcing the game called the runner out, before Joyce called him safe, because he could see the runner was clearly out.

There is no reason not to use video replays in baseball. Certainly, umpires should have the option of viewing a replay if they have any uncertainty about a call or play. Baseball can be a very slow moving game, video replays won't make that much worse. It's a lot better than people standing on the field arguing or fighting.

firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:54 pm
@firefly,
Quote:

In wake of Galarraga's near-perfect game, Bud Selig will consider expanded use of instant replay
By Bill Shaikin

When baseball introduced limited instant replay in 2008, Bud Selig rejected the notion that a system that enabled umpires to review some plays but not others inevitably would be expanded.

"Not as long as I'm the commissioner," Selig said then.

So much for that. Amid a wave of national outrage over the blown call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game Wednesday, Selig said Thursday he would consider broadening the use of instant replay.

"There is no dispute that last night's game should have ended differently," Selig said in a statement.

Selig agonized so greatly over the blown call that he even considered overturning it and awarding Galarraga a perfect game, according to a high-ranking baseball official who spoke with him.

Selig, wary of sanctioning a 28-out perfect game as well as setting a precedent for aggrieved teams, opted against it. The official cited Tuesday's game in Houston, in which the Washington Nationals appeared to have won until umpires ruled " incorrectly, according to replays " that the Astros' Lance Berkman had not swung at what would have been strike three, and the final out. On the next pitch, Berkman hit a walk-off single.

In his statement, Selig commended umpire Jim Joyce for his "courage" in owning up to his mistake and saluted the Tigers for their "dignity and class." Joyce apologized personally to Galarraga, who responded with a hug.

"He told me he was sorry like 20 times," Galarraga told reporters.

Against Cleveland on Thursday, Tigers Manager Jim Leyland had Galarraga deliver the team's lineup card to home plate so he could shake hands with Joyce. Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who heckled Joyce after the blown call, gave him a pat on the chest protector on his way to his position Thursday.

Galarraga, whose immediate reaction to the botched call was a disbelieving smile, said Thursday he would not be haunted by his absence from the record books.

"It's more special," he said, "because I threw a perfect game with 28 outs."

St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa suggested that Galarraga get credit for a perfect game, an idea Angels Manager Mike Scioscia hesitated to endorse.

"I think everyone in Major League Baseball has to be accountable, and everything is reviewed, whether it involves a manager, an umpire, a coach or a player," Scioscia said, "but I don't know how you overturn that one."

Angels pitcher Scot Shields said he was unsure whether Joyce's call should lead to the additional use of replay.

"I think the human element in the game is good," Scioscia said. "Umpires are right 99% of the time. It just so happened that was one call that was magnified."

But Selig said in his statement that he would "examine … the expanded use of instant replay." Leyland, La Russa, Scioscia and Dodgers Manager Joe Torre serve on Selig's blue-ribbon committee for on-field matters, which is expected to discuss when and how to broaden the replay system.

The current system restricts replays to disputed home run calls. Scioscia, who adamantly opposed an expanded system during last fall's cavalcade of umpire errors, indicated Thursday he might support replay rules that would have allowed Joyce to review his call.

"I think there is probably room for expanded replay that will benefit the game," Scioscia said. "Full-blown replay for all calls is not the protocol we should use."

[email protected]

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report from Kansas City, Mo.
http://mobile.latimes.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=53CB38ED2929D44D9DB6.955?view=SportItem&feed:a=latimes_1min&feed:c=sportsnews&feed:i=54092936&nopaging=1
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 12:11 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:

Osso, what's different in this case is that the final outcome of the game would be totally unaffected by Selig reversing that bad call, and you have an umpire who would be happy if the bad call was reversed. This is a rather unique situation.

It's an injustice to the pitcher because that one bad call keeps him out of the record books. And no harm would be done by Selig righting that injustice.

Reversing the call won't change who won the game, the bad call should have been the last play of the game --Galarraga struck the next man out and the game was over. It would have been over with the previous batter had Joyce made the correct call. And this wasn't an instance where the play at first was so close you really had to look at a video replay to see what occurred--this was just a bad call by Joyce. The sportscaster announcing the game called the runner out, before Joyce called him safe, because he could see the runner was clearly out.

There is no reason not to use video replays in baseball. Certainly, umpires should have the option of viewing a replay if they have any uncertainty about a call or play. Baseball can be a very slow moving game, video replays won't make that much worse. It's a lot better than people standing on the field arguing or fighting.




Yes there is, time. Replays are allowed in some circumstances. Whatever article I read, maybe from that LA Times guy at some earlier point, explained at length why. I forget, sorry, the reason some other situations besides those now allowed were said to take precedence over this kind of thing at a base, if there would be any possible change in rules.. Arguing re touching base could take up forever.

Add the two situations that I forget, and you'll have replays taking over the game.

Galarraga will be great in any case.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 10:15 am
@Rockhead,
I agree - this guy will be the most famous "perfect game" pitcher ever as a result. No one else was "robbed" of this - so he is now one of a kind. Also, the way he handled gives him an even bigger boost to his popularity and to be remembered.
0 Replies
 
CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 10:23 am
Replays need to be kept out of baseball. There's a huge part of the game that would be eliminated and suffer, the best part of any game, the human element. Mistakes happen, and being a tiger fan and detroiter, i'm not happy with this one, but it doesn't make me want replays anymore. Umpires are part of the playing field, and the mental aspect.

Adding one thing here or there may not impact the game right away, but it's all about the directions things go, more and more replays would be used to review plays and we'd have even longer games than there already are.
There's a mental aspect to playing the umpires when you're a ball player, and to impede on this would be a bad decision.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:19 am
Sexist sportscaster weighs in:

Quote:
In a discussion of the blown call during Wednesday night's almost-perfect-game, Burnett argued that the umpire and pitcher's "graciousness" were so "beautiful" that it made for a "more memorable moment" than a perfect game would have.

"See, this is why women aren't in charge of sports," Haines shot back.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 04:48 pm
@engineer,
Yeah, but a lot of male sportswriters feel differently, agree with her. Plashke (sp?) and Dwyre on the NYTimes, for example.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 06:30 pm
@ossobuco,
I agree with her as well. There will be the list of perfect game pitchers, the list of those who failed on the 27th batter and the guy who was robbed. He is his own baseball stat.
 

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