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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. Josh Fisher - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Retroactive review opens up a terrible can of worms. Next thing you know it’ll be PED users. No, you can’t set the precedent of changing the past. But you can sure as hell steam ahead on preventing this sort of thing in the future.

  2. Eric Cioe - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Why would you change this call? Dale Scott absolutely must have made the right call, because it resulted in those awful Twins losing a game.
    Sincerely,
    A Tigers fan

  3. Jonny5 - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    No overturning the past calls man. Let’s just make it right with this new craze hitting the sports scene dudes, the instant replay. Football really digs it. Hockey thinks it’s really hip aye. This is the best thing since Daisey Dukes and tube tops. Dig it man.

  4. okobojicat - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    My only objection to replay is that there are a lot of calls where after a call is made, base runners make decisions based on those calls. What I’m worried about is diving catches where runners go because the umpire said it hit the ground. What do you do if the call is reversed? Would they have tagged up and advanced?
    .
    However, the NFL has tried (and mostly failed) to address this issue by letting plays playout and then going to the booth for review.
    .
    But I am 100% gung-ho for replay involving plays that are the third out of an inning or where no one else is on base or where runners would not advance if the call was reversed.
    .
    And I’m ready for robots doing balls and strikes. We need to implement that trial in an Arizona Fall League game.

  5. Kris - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Perfect games are rare enough that I think overturning it is warranted in the Galarraga case (even though we’ve had 3 in the last month or so).
    The blown calls are fundamentally different. If Joyce gets it right, it’s game over, man, and even though he didn’t, the correct team got the W. If the moron behind 2nd in Seattle gets it right, the game continues. Retroactively causing the game to be resumed the next day seems way too messy for me.

  6. BC - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    The Mariners-Twins call was actually worse. Obviously not as glaring given the situation, but this call was even worse, AND it cost a team the game.
    PS. NO NO NO retroactive overturning. What, we’re going to replay the 1985 World Series now? I mean really, those guys are all in their 50′s now.

  7. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    I usually bang the drum for instant replay in other sports, but in this instance I just don’t feel it. Baseball is a unique game, and not using replay contributes to that uniqueness. Part of the allure is that the game has chnaged so little over time, and the human element of umpires is actually enjoyable to me. It feels like comfy old pajamas, and I don’t want new pajamas.
    Games are so long already, and the dynamics of umpiring crews are complicated enough without adding another variable. I have a fancy cellphone with a full texting keyboard – I’m typing this on a laptop on a wireless connection overlooking the ocean – I’m no neo-Luddite. But with the exception of balls and strikes, baseball is generally the easiest game to officiate. I just don’t think it needs replay.

  8. Gregg - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    When we make a mistake we should never ever go back and change things back to the way they should have been. We should keep things as wrong even though we know they shouldn’t be that way. It doesn’t make any sense to change something from wrong to right. Let’s hope the rest of the world takes a page from Baseball and remember never correct you’re mistakes. Because if we do than the terrorist win.

  9. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    My only objection to replay is that there are a lot of calls where after a call is made, base runners make decisions based on those calls. What I’m worried about is diving catches where runners go because the umpire said it hit the ground. What do you do if the call is reversed? Would they have tagged up and advanced?

    You know who’s been the banner carrier for this line of thought, it’ll shock your mind, Joe Morgan!?!? Probably one of the few times he’s had a coherent thought in his espn chats is mentioning what do you do for traps called as outs and vice versa? Ground rule double? award one additional base like balls out of play?
    However, as others like Craig have mentioned, there’s no need to go from current replay to full blown replay in a day. As football has done, they can institute it gradually over the years and work out all the kinks (and random situations that cause problems).

  10. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Come on, there’s no way you can believe what you just wrote.

    Part of the allure is that the game has chnaged so little over time, and the human element of umpires is actually enjoyable to me.

    Except for the 6 balls for a walk, or minorities not being allowed to play, or the DH, or the lowering of the mound, or the wild card/expansion of playoffs, etc etc etc

    Games are so long already, and the dynamics of umpiring crews are complicated enough without adding another variable.

    I haven’t seen the replays of the Sea/MN game, but the replay for the Det game would have taken 10 total seconds. Are we really going to quibble over that amount of time? Btw, that game lasted something like 1h45m (Galarraga threw something like 85 pitches over 9I).

    But with the exception of balls and strikes, baseball is generally the easiest game to officiate. I just don’t think it needs replay.

    Jim Joyce, Don Denkinger and Tim McLelland amongst many others would like a word with you…

  11. tadthebad - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    Isn’t consistency a little lame to fall back on here? Baseball is full of unique instances, which this call/play clearly falls under. And doesn’t the George Brett model apply here? He was re-awarded his homerun without it affecting the outcome of the game, correct? Would this be so different? I’m generally all for consistency, but to avoid doing what is clearly right in honor of this “principle” is just stubborn.

  12. Futon Reformer - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    In the department of more bad officiating, in the top of the 8th in Toronto Sean Rodriguez was called out for missing 3rd base on his way home. His run represented the tying run in a close game (at the time). The only problem with the call? He touched the bag. Had the Rays not broke the game open in the 9th, the Joe West/Angel Hernandez ump crew of clowns would have cost another team a game.

  13. okobojicat - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Wow. Makes me quite sad to put myself on the same side as Joe.
    .
    As I said above, that was my objection before, but being a Twins fan and watching that ridiculous call last night moved me.
    .
    Also, we need a structure of replay. Five umpires on a crew. One umpire sits in the booth and you do replay like the Big Ten does replay where every single play is “reviewed” and if the upstairs umpire thinks that he needs more time to confirm the call he can wire down to crew chief (or whomever) to hold up to let him get a couple extra views.

  14. largebill - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Done is done. What happened – happened.

  15. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    I believe every word I just wrote. With modern society becoming so fast-paced and impersonal, baseball is the antidote.
    You made 3 points, not one of them hold any water. Poor effort, much akin to the poor efforts currently being made by Churches worldwide.
    1) The basics and essence of the game have changed less over time than any other sport.
    2) Picking one specific quick and easy replay is a totally illogical way to determine the overall effect on pace of game in general.
    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.
    Then again, the next time you make sense will be the first.

  16. Russ Smith - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Joyce’s call was appalling, although my second thought (after wondering if an asterisk would be applied to the game) was that I hope Joyce doesn’t get lynched any time soon. My son was so incensed (and he’s not even a Tigers fan) that he called for robot umpires. Not for me: I still remember several key botched calls in the ’99 ALCS that screwed the Red Sox against the Yanks. I felt at the time, and still do, live by the ump, die by the ump.

  17. ThatGuy - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    If I hear one more person say they like the “Human Element” of baseball I am going to puke. Guess what, there is the “Human Element” of baseball, its the Baseball Players(Human Beings) playing the friggen games. Get the calls right. In both instances last night it was obvious from the first reply the guy was out. You want perfect games, and beautifully pitched 1 run extra inning games to end because of the UMP and not the players on the field? Thats rediculous.

  18. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    The thing I love most about baseball is the Human Element.

  19. ThatGuy - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Now you’ve done it… I gotta go clean my monitor now…

  20. Eric Cioe - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Yes.
    Why not overturn the call? Stop with this slippery-slope bullshit. That’s what every arch-conservative who has resisted every change in the history of the world has resorted to. “If we let these blacks go to our schools, what’s next, will they be drinking out of our fountains? Preposterous!”
    This is an egregious wrong. Yeah, it wouldn’t be the same, but perfect games are all unique anyway. Better that it be made right after the fact than it be left wrong when everyone on the planet has no doubt it was wrong.
    As far as creating a precedent: next time someone botches the 27th out of a perfect game, they can overturn it, too. Nothing else is the same.

  21. Scott - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    OK, I can take the Joyce thing, but why all this attention for this game and not the Nats-Astros Tuesday?
    Bottom Nine, Two out. Berkman strikes out on a check swing, CLEARLY going over the edge of home plate. Game should be over, except the third base ump called him safe, and it’s recorded as a ball. He wins the game on the next pitch.
    I know no one cares about the Nats, but if we’re 20 comments deep on a Mariners-Twins game, we should be just as outraged at Nats-Astros, right?

  22. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    What can I say, I felt you called me to duty. Your monitor looked a little dirty from this side anyhow.

  23. twitter.com/JoeRo23 - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Craig – Why can’t Bud overrule both calls from last night and last night only, and immediately institute instant replay for game-ending plays (9th inning, 2 outs, non-ball/strike calls), while immediately putting together a panel to create a more widespread instant replay regime to be implemented Opening Day, 2011?
    I feel like you’re stuck in this box and you can’t imagine a world in which the Commissioner can make a rule in reaction to something that happened on the field… But why? Again… I know this argument gets annoying, but this is not a court room, Craig. WHY can’t Bud change BOTH calls from last night and immediately institute instant replay for game-ending calls moving forward?
    I assume you would be in favor of instituting instant replay for game-ending plays starting, say, 10 days from now. If so… Why not just do it IMMEDIATELY and make it retroactive to last night? It’s one freaking night ago, I don’t understand why it’s so hard to imagine a world in which this could be done. They already have the equipment in all the stadiums for when they review home runs that may or may not have gone out or been fair/foul, this could EASILY be done.

  24. Scott - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    Should have noted that the game-winning hit was a walkoff 2-run single, where the Astros were down by one before the hit (as opposed to all tied, where the outcome still would have been in doubt if he struck out)
    Same situation.

  25. Moses Green - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    Did you really just draw a comparison between a blown call in a baseball game and the American Civil Rights movement?
    Perspective, people.

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