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Jim Joyce wasn't the only one who blew a call last night

Jun 3, 2010, 9:07 AM EDT

Ryan Langerhans scores.jpgQuestion to all of you — and there are a lot of you — who want Bud Selig to step in, change Jim Joyce’s call and award Armando Galarraga a perfect game:  do you want Bud to change the outcome of the Mariners-Twins game too? Because that one ended on a blown call as well.

The scene: tenth inning, two on, two out, Ichiro at the plate. He lines one up the middle and Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert makes a diving stop and flips it to J.J. Hardy. The call by second base umpire Dale Scott is that base runner Josh Wilson was  “safe,” thereby allowing Ryan Langerhans comes around to score the game-winning run.

The only problem? He was pretty clearly out.

Of course, we have no replay on such calls, so it couldn’t be fixed.  But what we do have is a groundswell of opinion, apparently, that Bud Selig can and should retroactively overrule on-the-field calls and change outcomes.

How about this one?  It was a game-ender. There was no subsequent activity that would preclude a do-over.  The Twins and M’s could simply resume this game at the top of the 10th inning before their next matchup.  It would be easy. Indeed, there are multiple games every year in which Bud Selig — whose wisdom and judgment no man has ever doubted — could come in and fix like King freakin’ Solomon.

The answer to me seems clear: implement replay as soon as possible, but let us not get into the messy business of having an eminently flawed Commissioner of Baseball wading into game outcomes the next morning.  To do so would invite mischief and madness and God knows we already have enough of that.

  1. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    1) The basics and essence of the game have changed less over time than any other sport.

    You have no basis to make this claim. Soccer has changed far less than baseball, but this isn’t really worth arguing about.

    2) Picking one specific quick and easy replay is a totally illogical way to determine the overall effect on pace of game in general.

    So what’s a good number of examples then? 5? 10? 15?

    3) We could use better umpires. But your last comment is the stupidest and most troll-like. To actually argue against my point you should compare and contrast against other sports.

    Ok fine, soccer is far easier to referee. I’ve been playing for 25 years and refereed for 8. Only one instance is harder and that’s offsides due to all the factors involved. In no way is anything as difficult as determing where a 3″ ball crosses an 18″ plate at 95mph+. Or whether a players foot hit the bag before a ball was caught at 90+mph. The NBA is far easier, but those refs are fixed AND they don’t abide by the rules (travelling for instance) so it almost doesn’t count.
    Also, the ad hominem attack wasn’t needed, you are better than that.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    The people against replay think it will slow down the game. But it won’t if the powers that be make TWO rule changes.
    First, add instant replay by giving managers 2 challenges a game.
    Second, make it against the rules for a manager to come out to argue with an umpire. Allow a “RULE EXPLANATION” from an umpire to a manager, but if a manager leaves the dugout to argue, it is grounds for IMMEDIATE EJECTION.
    Problem solved. The 2-3 minute arguments that frequently occur will be eliminated and the calls will be fixed by replay. No slowing down of the game.

  3. Scott - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Right, because soccer players NEVER get called for fouls when replay shows the guy falling down actually flopped.
    And you would need hundreds of examples. Not 5-15.

  4. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    I never said there weren’t wrong calls in soccer, I said that it’s far easier to call. Just because there’s one or two flops a game doesn’t make all the other calls harder.
    Also, why hundreds of examples? Although, are we really going to argue that adding instant replay will take more time than the time spent arguing by the managers for these calls?

  5. (Not That) Tom - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    “Games are so long already, and the dynamics of umpiring crews are complicated enough without adding another variable.”
    Normally I’d agree with you but there is no reason why instant replay should/would add any more to the length of a game than, say, a LaRussian pitching carousel or by having Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound or David Ortiz at the plate. Baseball plays aren’t difficult to review – unlike football there aren’t a lot of complex rules/judgment calls to make and there aren’t as many moving parts to influence judgment – usually it’s reviewing a close call at the bag, whether a ball cleared the fence, or if a catch was made. And it’s not as if these events happen every game. What’s that come to, an extra 30 seconds-minute per game, maybe? About the same time wasted arguing a blown call?

  6. Eric Cioe - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Obviously they’re different. But the point stands about people digging their heels in and resisting change due to the monster of the slippery slope. It’s stupid. There is an obvious opportunity to right a wrong here. I think it’s a given that the wrongs will be prevented in the future, but this was a huge call and obviously wrong and everyone involved knows that Galarraga threw a perfect game.

  7. Scott - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Because that’s what you need to build a meaningful statistic. 15 examples is an extremely tiny sample set. I’m not going to belabor the point, because I believe in instant replay, and I don’t THINK it will impact the pace of the game if done correctly.
    It will take more than 15 games with reversed calls to measure it though. For one thing, there are different types of plays that will be replayed. What if the first fifteen reversed calls are six home run balls and nine “out at the base” calls like the Galarraga play? Are we to assume no other type of replay will ever happen, or that the distribution will always be 6:9 for those two types? What if 3 of the 6 home runs are agonizingly close and take several minutes, when normally only 1 out of 15 balls are that close? What if 15 of the first 45 games use some type of replay, but normally it takes 300 games for 15 replays to happen?
    Anything can happen with small samples. Livan Hernandez has a 2.15 ERA in 67 innings. Care to wager whether he’ll have the same ERA after his next 100?

  8. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Forgive me as I should have explained further. I understand meaningful sample sizes but wasn’t sure that was the path you were going down. The reason I asked for a number is Moses’s responses lead me to believe it didn’t matter the number of examples I gave because he’s not going to change his mind.

  9. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    I attacked your “arguments” one by one. I’m absolutely not above or better than ad hominem attacks. Your post was mindless, troll-like, and not at all thoughtful. If you’re going to stand up and make an argument, make an argument. But right now your stuff is weak, Meat.
    As to your assertion that the NBA is far easier to officiate, now I know you’re fucking with me. That game moves so fast even robots couldn’t get it right.

  10. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    I’m absolutely not above or better than ad hominem attacks.

    Fine, then I’m done responding to you. If you want to have a discussion like adults then feel free but until that time, you aren’t worth mine.

  11. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    We aren’t having a discussion. You’re babbling and I’m shouting at you to shut up. Just. Stop. Babbling.

  12. bengalaxy - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    A bad call to end a regular season game is one thing. A bad call to rob a PERFECT GAME is on a whole different plane of existence. This is the very definition of the reason the Commissioner has that kind of power.
    And kudos to both Joyce and Gallaraga for the way they both handled the matter publicly.

  13. SteveJ - Jun 3, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    My problem with this article is that I don’t think the “can of worms” argument necessarily applies to the Detroit perfect game situation.
    1. The blown call would have ended the game.
    2. There were no runners on base.
    3. The very next batter made the “third” out.
    I don’t think there should be any correction if the blwon call had happened earler, including at any other point in the 9th inning.
    But you have a situation where reversing the call does absolutely nothing to game scoring, nor was were there ANY plays after the blown call, other than the next “final” out.

  14. Brian Kersch - Jun 4, 2010 at 6:17 AM

    Yeah, that was a really absurd comparison, glad someone else caught him and called him out on it.
    For real though, look up the logical fallacies. “Slippery Slope” is one of them.
    (Also: so is false equivocation)

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