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Bud is still thinking about whether to overturn the game

Jun 3, 2010, 12:12 PM EDT

According to Larry Lange of the AP, Major League Baseball was “still deciding” whether or not to overturn the Galarraga game as of this morning.  Bud is talking to his advisors, the story says.  For what it’s worth, Tony La Russa — not a formal advisor, but the game’s only Super Genius — thinks it should be overturned.  Bud sometimes listens to La Russa on these things, sometimes he doesn’t. My bet is that he’s listening to his PR people more than baseball people, however.

After a good night’s sleep my original position still stands: don’t overturn it, because doing so — however satisfying it may be at the moment — would open up a can of worms.  Like I said earlier, you could change the call in last night’s Mariners-Twins game if you wanted to. You could do it a dozen times a year, really.

If Bud chooses to overturn this game, he has to understand that he’s not just righting a wrong. He’s setting a precedent.  One that will create a ton of new work for the Commissioner’s Office that, quite frankly, I don’t think it wants or needs.

  1. BC - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Why haven’t the Tigers protested the game? Or did they? That would give Selig an out if he decided to overturn it.
    But I still say NO NO NO to overturning the call. What, they’re going to replay the 1985 World Series? Or the Ed Armbrister game in ’75? I mean, heck, most of those guys are in their 60’s….

  2. tadthebad - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    This hasn’t been answered in other comment sections: Wasn’t George Brett’s pine tar HR reinstated after that game? If so, hasn’t the precedent already been set?

  3. Megary - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    I think the only way to justify overturning this call is to do it in conjunction with the promise of further expanding replay to cover these type of plays. Therefore, the precedent Bud sets would only matter from the moment he overturns the call to the minute a proper replay system is implemented. That could be as little as by the All Star break (if the don’t overthink a simple thing) to as late as the beginning of next season.
    I could live with that, but it’s unlikely to happen.

  4. Bill@TDS - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    As a lawyer, Craig, I’m sure that you understand that you can make individualized rulings without setting precedent (see, e.g., Sandra Day O’Connor’s entire body of work). There are all kinds of reasons to set this apart and make it a one-time thing, no can of worms involved, and the two main reasons are illustrated by a comparison to the almost equally egregious blown call ending the Twins game: (a) it ended the game, so there’s no guesswork, no concern about having to resume the game or what would have happened afterward; and (b) precisely because it DOESN’T determine the outcome of this game –there’s just no reason not to change the description of the details of what actually happened (when what actually happened isn’t changing in the slightest).
    It’s a bit disconcerting that so many brilliant people disagree with me, but it still seems like a no-brainer to me.

  5. excatcher - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Overturn it.
    1) It doesn’t affect the standings
    2) This is a game of great historical significance
    3) The ump admitted he made a mistake

  6. JBerardi - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    “If Bud chooses to overturn this game, he has to understand that he’s not just righting a wrong. He’s setting a precedent. One that will create a ton of new work for the Commissioner’s Office that, quite frankly, I don’t think it wants or needs.”

    Sounds like a precedent for instant replay to me. If we’re going to start overturning calls based on video, then just formalize the process as instant replay.

  7. Mark Armour - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Overturn the call. The “setting a precedent” thing is a canard. This is a special case in that a reversal would end the game one batter earlier. In the George Brett game, they reversed the winning and losing teams, revised the end of the game, and made the teams play a new half-inning.
    This is not messy at all. There will never be a similar case in any of our lifetimes.

  8. BC - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Problem is, the Royals protested the Pine Tar Game. I don’t think the Tigers have protested this one. So it WOULD set a precedent.
    I haven’t seen anything anywhere that says they protested. Anyone know?

  9. - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Two things:
    1. The Pine Tar Game: The reason why the Pine Tar Game doesn’t set a precedent for the Galarraga/Joyce game is that the Pine Tar Game was played under protest from the moment of the Brett non-homer/homer on, meaning MLB had to, and was authorized to, make a decision whether or not to uphold or turn down the protest. The game last night was not played under protest.
    2. The precedent argument: What if Selig is careful to say that the precedent being set here is that if (1) a pitcher has a no-hitter or perfect game with 2 outs in the 9th inning and (2) an umpire makes what is CLEARLY the wrong call, and (3) the umpire agrees, upon further review after the game, that he blew the call, (4) costing said his rightful place in the record books, and (5) NOTHING happens after the blown call (meaning the subsequent batter makes an out to end the game), and (6) the outcome of the game would not be affected by overturning the call… THEN, and only then, will MLB step in, after the fact, and reverse the call.
    There’s a very easy way to nullify this “can of worms” worry… Just clearly lay out the circumstances under which this decision is being made and will be made in the future. I’m kind of surprised that so many people are so unable to free themselves of this precedent contraint.

  10. JMcKernan - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    What is the purpose of the commissioner of having the power to overturn a play if he never uses it?
    There must be a reason he has the authority and what better reason would there be then to use it now.
    It doesn’t effect the outcome the game since Tigers still got the next batter.
    Not only right a wrong but get the umpire off the hook .. he did his best but made a mistake, I’m sure he overturn if he could!

  11. Mark Armour - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    The precedence argument is how so many committees and meetings end up accomplishing nothing. Make the decision, make 100 million people happy, and go have lunch.

  12. crister - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    somewhere, bobby witt is crying softly into his pillow.

  13. Old Gator - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Ton of new work? When did Bud Light ever want to do his old work?

  14. John - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Setting a precedent….for getting calls right for a change? Oh no. we’re all doomed.

  15. JimmyY - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    The point is doing what’s right and not being afraid to make a decision. Precedent? Boo freaking hoo, doing’s what’s right regardless of the backlash. All parties agreed the call was incorrect. If it stirs up a ton of work then so be it, that’s the nature of the sport today. What, asking someone to work hard is a bad thing? Get over it already, doing what’s right, everyone agrees to and move on in a positive way.

  16. JCD - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    I agree with you!! It killed me last night and this morning to hear about the Galaragga’s “1 hitter”-no, it was a PERFECT GAME! and everyone knows it, even the umpire!!

  17. gary - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Apparently the Obama administration is blaming it on George W. Bush and Eric Holder is going to have the DOJ launch a criminal investigation.

  18. Old Gator - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Yeah, and it’s doubly perfidious when you consider that it’s probably the only disaster that wasn’t Bush’s fault. Now pardon me, I’m going to go out and ferret among the nearly seven million jobs that this country lost during the Bush Depression and see if I can find mine again.

  19. J. McCann - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    I take history and precedent seriously and I think they should overturn this call.
    They have made changes before, particularly when it is the supposed last play of the game. (ground rule doubles to HR’s and vice versa and the official scorer has a day to make changes)
    Bud, could limit the precedent too by saying any change would only be to a current season’s game. Anything from previous seasons is in the book and that is that.

  20. frank pepe - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    craig, if bud were to overturn the game he wouldn’t be setting a precedent, he’d be continuing a precedent. the pine tar game was overruled.

  21. RC - Jun 3, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    If they threw out 50 no-hit games in 1991, why can’t they say this was a PG. Seems they already have replay, if not instant.

  22. BC - Jun 3, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    There has never been a game overturned that wasn’t under protest. Sounds like a precedent to me. A bad one.

  23. Mark Armour - Jun 3, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    No one is asking anyone to overturn a game. The Tigers won, no one is asking that the Indians be declared the victor. People are asking to change the scoring on a single play (and to erase the last play).

  24. frank pepe - Jun 3, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    what about the haddix no no?

  25. MBH - Jun 3, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    While overturning would be the right thing to do, the ramifications are too scary to think about. Just some thoughts…
    1. I’m pretty sure the Royals would like the Denkinger call overturned so they could win a world series title.
    2. I’m sure Orioles fans would like the Jeff Maier home run overturned.
    3. Who can forget about Bartman? Cubs fans sure won’t.
    The point is these were all historical moments in the game and nothing was done at the time to overturn or right the call.
    I believe you set precedent on this call…and institute instant replay as soon as possible so these things don’t have to be tolerated by players or fans.

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