Selig Lets Baseball Down Again

By Jeremy Clements    

In the aftermath of the Jim Joyce debacle the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig had the chance to fix the mistake Joyce made and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game.
   

Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga covers first base on June 2, 2010.

 

  

 But of course, Mr. Selig would decide to do nothing. Erring on the side of caution fearing that if he did step in he would open a virtual pandora’s box of scenarios and setting a dangerous precedent for the future. Worrying that if he changed this one call he would become a court of appeals for teams in the case of a blown call by an umpire. Believing that reversing this call would cause his umpires to lose credibility. All of which are realistic concerns.     

“…it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed.  Given last night’s call and other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features…” – Commissioner Bud Selig   

However this is a very unique situation. One in which I believe reversing the call would not have hurt a bit. Let’s address a few of his concerns directly.    

Credibility of the Umpires    

 

 

Major League Baseball umpire Tim Tschida 

First the credibility of his umpires. This one call being reversed wouldn’t have done anything to further damage the credibility of the officials. Everyone who’s seen the replay knows the call was wrong, even Joyce himself admitted the mistake. So he has already taken the blame for his mistake and moved on, without a lot of damage to his credibility. As a whole this year, the men in blue have already hurt their credibility and fans across baseball have said time and time again that the quality of umpiring has been steadily declining. Several umpires, including well known and respected Jerry West, have made it a point to be part of the “show” this year. If any damage to the credibility of umpires is to be done this year, it will be a result of the umpires, not Selig reversing a call 

 This is probably one of the most realistic concerns and one of the few that makes sense. It is true that if Selig stepped in here, he could very well make the statement that the commissioner has the final say and can overturn a bad call made by an umpire. However, in this case that shouldn’t really be a concern.   

Why? Simply because everyone in baseball has already acknowledged this as a perfect game. Even people who weren’t even in Detroit at the time of the blown call feel it should be changed. St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who is on one of the commissioners special committees thought the call should have been reversed. “I was thinking if the umpire says he made a mistake on replay, I’d call it a no-hitter, perfect game. Just scratch it. If I was Mr. Selig, in the best interest of the game. The guy got it and I’d give him his perfect game.”   

If you have other managers and players chiming in on the matter it’s clear that they understand this rare circumstance. They aren’t going to be forming a line to get their own call overturned. They understand that this is history and believe that Galarraga should have his rightful place in the history books.   

The Verdict    

 

NEW YORK - JULY 15:  Commissioner of Major Lea...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

 

   

 Mr. Selig ultimately decided not to overturn the call and will instead “will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features.” All in an effort to ensure that calls on the field are correct. In otherwords, you better get ready for more instant replay.    

Bud Selig once again failed to do what is in the best interest of the game but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Afterall, he’s the same guy who forced an All-Star game to end as a tie and let steroids poison the game for years. This just further proves that when he talks about the “best interest” he’s really talking about what puts more money in his pocket.
  
 

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4 responses to “Selig Lets Baseball Down Again

  1. I agree Jeremy. Bud Selig has let down the game of baseball time after time. The greatest day for the game of baseball will be in 2012 when he is no longer the commissioner. Also, he worries about the credibility of his umpires… They already have no credibility. They’ve missed so many calls already this year that they can’t lose any more credibility.

    • The quality of umpiring needs to be addressed before they go into more replay. There are no punishments for consistently bad umpiring and no rewards for those who are excellent behind the plate either. It’s a broken system that needs to be fixed and replay isn’t fixing it. On the same day that Galarraga was cost his perfect game the Astros were given a win on a miscalled check swing and the Twins lost a game on a missed call at 2nd base.

  2. Jeremy,

    This is a very well-written and argued article. I have to disagree with you on your view of Selig though.

    I actually applaud Bud for not giving in to the pressure from around the baseball world. Sure, I feel bad for both Galaragga and Joyce, but I don’t feel like changing the outcome of the game would have really “saved” baseball like everyone is saying, or even made the situation any better.

    Everyone who has heard about that game (which is essentially everyone in the nation) knows that Galaragga pitched a perfect game. We all know it. It’s not like there is anyone in the world who would deny the kid the honor he deserves. So why go and change things? So it doesn’t say it in the “record books” (when’s the last time you flipped through the “record books” anyway?), but anyone who knows anything knows what Galaragga did. In fact, what he did will be remembered much longer than the perfect games by Halladay and Braden solely because of the circumstances.

    I honestly feel that the situation was handled exactly the way it should have been….by the books, but with class. No need to take an eraser to the rule book….just act like grown-up men, and move on. I have a hell of a lot of respect for both Jim Joyce and Armando Galaragga.

    It bothers me that Bud Selig is the scapegoat here. While I don’t agree with a lot of the things he’s implemented (winner of the All Star Game/homefield advantage thing is downright stupid), I feel that so many people constantly have their finger on the trigger, waiting to rip Selig a new one for everything he does. Galaragga is at peace….Joyce is at peace….the Detroit Tigers are at peace. Why overturn it? It’s been said a thousand times, and I’m embarrassed to say it again, but yes, I think it would open pandora’s box as far as what can be overturned and what can’t. For once, I am on Bud’s side 100 percent.

    If you’re going to blame anyone, blame Joyce. He screwed up on the job….Selig was just doing his.

    By the way, I’m curious how Selig calling the All Star Game after 11 innings because there were no pitchers left to pitch “puts more money in his pocket.”

    • I’ll address the last thing you said first. Calling the All-Star game didn’t really put any more money in his pocket, I just threw that in there as an example of something he messed up. I think that Selig ends up getting to be the scapegoat because he is the commissioner. He is the one who bears the most responsibility for things that go on both on and off the field.

      The thing that really bothers me most has been listening to all the “experts” calling this “the best one hitter of all time”. I realize that technically it is a one hitter since the ruling has not been overturned. So it seems that his accomplishment will be taken differently He pitched a one hitter because of a missed call. Today we will recognize it as a no-hitter because you and I have seen it, but what about the people who see the game long after he has retired. He won’t go down as the pitcher of the 21st perfect game in history, so it will be just one of the one-hitters, which is saying much less than a perfect game.

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