Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nothing is perfect

Screws fall out all the time. The world's an imperfect place.
- John Bender, "The Breakfast Club"
Screws fall out, things break, people fail and umpires make bad calls. In case you dropped out of an airplane today and missed the big news, an umpire blew a call and a kid in Detroit lost a perfect game because of it. Now, people who otherwise wouldn't know who Armando Galarraga is are trying to get him something that he lost, after first base umpire Jim Joyce missed a call with two out that wound up costing the kid his perfect game.
It's a shame it had to happen to him, but baseball, by its design is human-element prone. Players make errors, batters strike out and umpires make mistakes. None of them happen at the best of times. Sometimes, they happen when the situation is the most crucial. However, we can't make exceptions when the bad call or error costs the team some place in history. A win is a win, and a "perfect game" means more than just the pitcher getting everybody out. Perfection has something to do with the umpires too. They need to get every call right, otherwise it isn't a perfect game. It's imperfect.
Major League Baseball didn't step-in and reverse the Steve Bartman play in that Cubs game in 2003 or Jeffrey Maier interfering with a 1996 ALCS Orioles/Yankees playoff game. This game wasn't nearly as important.
Meanwhile, Galarraga is more famous for not doing something than he ever would have been for doing it, to the point that a car dealer in Cleveland gave the guy a Corvette (above) for not pitching a perfect game. Try not doing something in your life and expecting a reward. Sports is screwy.
Suppose Joyce had decided to make an 'out' call at first base regardless of whether he thought the guy was safe or out? If replay had shown the runner to be safe and Joyce had called him out, how would that have contributed to history?
People who want Major League Baseball to step in and reverse the call aren't looking at the big picture. To wit:
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has issued a proclamation that says Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game against Cleveland, despite an umpire’s blown call.
Granholm issued the proclamation Thursday, one day after first base umpire Jim Joyce declared a runner safe with two outs left in the ninth inning, costing Galarraga a perfect game. After seeing the replay, Joyce said he blew the call and apologized to the pitcher for not realizing Cleveland’s Jason Donald didn’t beat the throw to first base.
Granholm tweeted about the blown call after the game and on Thursday told WJR radio that Galarraga “was robbed.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow is also urging baseball commissioner Bud Selig to declare Galarraga’s performance perfect, and Rep. John D. Dingell says he’ll introduce a congressional resolution asking Major League Baseball to overturn the call.
Whenever government gets involved in sports, you know you're in for trouble. Regardless of any political grandstanding (check to see if those reps are up for re-election in the fall) Selig, as dopey as he is, can't step in and reverse a call. It's just a call. Should Selig reverse every stupid call that an official scorer makes? They make plenty of dopey calls. I challenge Senator Stabenow and Governor Granholm to name ten Tiger players by first and last name. We've all been "robbed" Jennifer. Some of us don't have baseball teams to play for and big news stories to push, so maybe you should be working as hard for your constituents as you do for a guy making a million dollars a year.
The world is an imperfect place, and regardless of technology, we can't control everything that happens. Deal with it.


dmb fan said...

Although I don't really follow baseball (until now) .. that really SUCKS... I wish that they could change the outcome... that guy was ROBBED.. DAYUM...

Kcoz said...

I think that baseball has to change with the times like football has, utilize the technology at hand and embrace the instant replay…when an athletes talent, skills, and efforts are judged by a poor angle, human error, or maybe a secrete bet in Vegas, it is truly heartbreaking…professional sports is a game of increments of space and time.

The technology is there…use it!