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What you're saying about the Joyce-Galarraga call

Jun 3, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

Joyce blown call.jpgThe best thing about this blog are the comments. Sure, there are some knuckleheads that show up here from time to time, but find me any comments section of any major website that has as consistently high-quality conversation and argument as this one and I’ll eat my hat. And if any of you saw me in that video yesterday you know one thing about me: I’m a man who needs a hat.

The quality of HBT’s readership shows up the best when a big controversial thing happens like the Joyce call last night. People obviously disagreed about the replay thing and people disagree about whether Selig should have overturned the call — which he didn’t — but, a couple of those lovable knuckleheads notwithstanding, everyone in the HBT comments had had a pretty sober and insightful take on it. Let’s share, shall we?

On instant replay:

  • JimmyY: If we can see the play on TV within 30 seconds and determine it was a
    bad call instant replay can surely be implemented . . . Getting it right
    and undoing an injustice, that’s what matters not some lame excuses.
  • Josh: If I were an umpire, I would be begging for this. Who wants to be the
    next Jim Joyce / Don Denkinger?
  • Catch 22:
    My father was a professional umpire. Not major leagues,
    but still a professional umpire. As he used to say, the umpires call is
    as much a part of the game as any player on the field. While I am not against the replay system that Mr. Calcaterra is
    recommending, the way a game is called by the umpire is what it is.
  • Andy: No matter if this call is overturned or not, nothing will
    replace the emotion that could have been felt in Comerica Park tonight.
    Nothing will replace the fact that Galarraga walked into a locker room
    with fans booing instead of cheering. Nothing will give him his moment
    back. As someone who was born and raised in Detroit, we are used to rolling
    with the punches. I’ve had enough. Instant replay is needed, and now.
    Five extra minutes could have lead to a spectacular night for a
    pitcher, and an entire city.

On Bud Selig overturning the call and giving Galarraga the perfecto

  • JoeRo23: I’m not in favor of this happening in any other situation, but this is
    that one special, unique, once in a lifetime case, in my mind, in which I
    think MLB should change the call and give Galarraga his perfect game.
    There could not be fewer repercussions than in this situation – he’d
    change (fix is a better word) the outcome of a SINGLE at-bat, and
    nullify the following at-bat (taking an out away from the guy who was
    the eventual 27th out of the game, so he won’t mind).
  • Kirk: It’s ALWAYS amazing to see anyone argue against doing the right thing.
    What’s the point of being the commissioner if he cannot correct errors.
    If not he’s useless and might as well be a sports reporter!
  • Tim J: My sons and I were at the game…as much as I would like to have
    witnessed a perfecto, we feel like we did. I’m mounting the kid’s
    tickets on small plaques for them with text like “Galarraga’s 1-hit
    perfect game”…lol. I felt sick to my stomach after the call but after
    finding out that it was a blown call, I was angry. BUT I don’t think it
    should be reversed. It would be selfish of me to want that. What about
    all of the calls over time that may have robbed someone else of a piece
    of history? At least it was cool to be a part of it all.
  • Matt J: I’m not looking forward to a do-over culture invading baseball. This conversation strikes me as vaguely reminiscent of Little League
    coaches believing themselves to be Earl Weaver and playing a game under
    protest because of a close call at first base in the second inning of a
    game in mid-March. Calls can’t be arbitrarily made “correct.” There is
    integrity (in a limited, sports sense) in making a mistake and
    realizing the result. There is no integrity (again in the most limited
    sense) in changing something the next day.
  • CA: The contention that commissioner intervention to overturn Joyce’s call
    would set some sort of dangerous precedent is overly legalistic. If the
    commissioner has the power to see that justice is served in an obvious
    case like this, then why shouldn’t he do it?

On Jim Joyce having to live with this forever:

  • Kyle S: Instead of a celebration of a perfect game it’s a pity
    party for an umpire. I’m sick of hearing about umpires. He ruined something that would have been huge for a lot of people. It’s his job to get important calls right and he didn’t do his job. I
    have no sympathy.
  • J Rose: I think the the way everyone involved reacted should be used as an
    example of how to handle tough situations with dignity and class. From
    Galarraga to Joyce to the Tigers players, they handled it just about as
    well as anyone could, and much better than the fans are. They are trying
    to set an example, yet the angy mob doesn’t seem to be following their
    lead.
  • doug: The problem with this piece is that Jim Joyce’s feelings
    are meaningless compared to the feelings of Armando Galarraga who,
    through no fault of his own, had his victory stolen in a way that
    frankly appears to be almost intentional. In short: why should we car how Jim Joyce “feels?”
  • Nick: I feel for Joyce because he owned up to the mistake and apologized. But
    no matter what, he will never live this down and that’s unfortunate.
    No one deserves to have one mistake in a freakin’ game define their
    life.

  • Tom: Everyday people must suffer the consequences of bad decisions made on their jobs every day.  Umpires should be no different.  While the apology is nice, it is not enough.  Joyce should be fined or suspended.

Tough crowd, and as often happens, I’m in the distinct minority when it comes to this stuff.  That’s fine. If everyone agrees with me I’m probably not doing my job.

Anyway, thanks for all of your comments, folks. And keep them coming.

  1. J Rose - Jun 3, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Craig, let me be the first to say thank you for making our opinions heard, and let me agree with you regarding the commenters. One of the things that has steered me away from other sites and keeps me, and many others, coming back here is the quality of the discussions and the knowledge of the commenters.
    However, you are incorrect when you state that the best thing about the site is the commenters. Because without the excellent coverage you and the other writers provide, we wouldn’t have much to comment about, and this baseball blog would be just another small wave in a sea of seamhead sites.
    It’s always amazing to see how an incident like this can bring out the best & worst in fans, but it’s great that we have somewhere to voice our opinions and make our arguments without being laughed at, ridiculed and persecuted by the myriad idiots that make up the sports blogosphere.

  2. Sky Guy - Jun 3, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    As sad as it makes me. I agree with MLB not reversing Joyce’s call. The reason: “The only solution to opening a can of worms is a larger can.”
    Thanks, Jim (old fan)

  3. Mike Fairchild - Jun 3, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Bud Selig, You have lost a fan of the game. Integrity is a must and you sir have no intergity. By upholding this crystal clear blown call you have brought shame to the sport and have sullied the record books for all time! You have robbed fans every where of a 3rd perfect game this season and you should have made the right call. This is the worst thing you have ever done. I hope something good comes out of this atrocity. I can’t imagine a more glaring call for full replay in baseball than this. It is not even something the Hollywood writers would think of. You have no stones Mr. Selig! I commend the way that Mr. Galarraga and Mr. Joyce have handled this situation and I call upon fans every where to force Mr. Selig out of office. When was the last time we had anything good to say about you? What did you do about steroids? You put your head in the mud! And you held to your old tricks by doing it agian. Sad turn of events for America’s Pastime.

  4. Fecteau - Jun 3, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Bud Selig has been screwing baseball since I can remember. He screwed up an All Star game that led to a tie, he consistently seems to make the opposite call as to what public opinion is (including this, as all sites I went to with polls has at least a 74% # for overturning the ruling)… We want Bart Giamatti back! The sad moral for this story, even a good commissioner that is deceased is better than one that is alive and just plain BLOWS

  5. Fecteau - Jun 3, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    You said it, Mike! This guy needs to find work elsewhere. I think my 7 year old nephew could better run the MLB…

  6. Ace - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    That pseudonym’s not fooling me. You’re really Keith Olbermann, aren’t you?

  7. matt - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    i am SO happy that Jim Joyce admitted he was wrong. it was fantastic, and showed tons of class.
    that being said, what would MLB do to a manager or player that went on a 5 minute rant after a game laced with curse words about the umpire blowing a call? fine? suspension?
    Just saying….

  8. Mike Fairchild - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    No, I am not Keith Olbermann. But, thanks for the compliment!

  9. Rays fan - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Just read an interview which indicated some “fans” have been harassing Joyce’s wife & kids over this. Not cool. Glad those sorts of jerks aren’t frequent commenters here.
    One plus side? Gallaraga’s game, like Harvey Haddix’s, will be far better remembered than the “official” perfect games this year.

  10. Ziggy - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    “What’s the point of being the commissioner if he cannot correct errors. If not he’s useless and might as well be a sports reporter!”
    I don’t think it’s Selig’s job to be Sam Beckett.

  11. ynotbet - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    If the commish changed the call, Milt Pappas would have been on the phone calling Bud.

  12. theMountinman - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    So, in the final analysis, the only difference between the other recognized, rare ‘perfect’ games, and last’s nights one-hiter is a blown call – an event completely out of the hands of the players. Keep in mind, no speculation is necessary in this case. There is no “Well, he would have made the out if lightning had not struck him”. Galarraga caught the ball and tagged the base before Donald reached it.
    So, the lesson here is that any rare, historical, astounding feat can be rendered void by the call of an ump. Imagine the next Hank Aaron, going for 763, at the plate. The pitch is a fastball low and outside, and the batter sends it curling toward the right field out-of-bounds post. 34,000 fans watch the ball pass just inside the post, well above the fence and into the pocket of an excited 12 year-old’s glove. But the ump rules it foul. No home run record. The next day, that same player fractures his leg stretching out a double play and never plays another inning. The difference between his place in history now, and what it should have been decided solely by a error in judgement. What if the ump made the bad call on purpose (for money, prejudice, or any host of other reasons)?
    I am certainly not in support of a reversal that requires speculation to resolve the outcome. This is not that case. Reality (what actually happened) should never be held hostage by aherance to a false interpretation. To deny a player recognition for something as special a perfect game because of a blown call is shameful and absurd. It’s stuff like this that keeps fans like me from coming back to the game.

  13. kyle s - Jun 3, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    ooh, you picked me. gotta say, though, half a day later i’ve found plenty of sympathy for jim joyce. actually got a little choked up watching galarraga present him with the lineup card.
    i don’t know that i’d call the episode ‘beautiful’ but in the end i think posnanski got it pretty much right.

  14. J Rose - Jun 3, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    Must be nice to have never made a mistake in your life. The guy is in tears for crying out loud. What more do you want? Everyone involved understands he made a mistake, Joyce feels terrible about it, yet internet yahoos like yourself are still trying to crucify him for it. He blew a call in a baseball game, he didn’t wrongly send someone to the electric chair for a crime he didn’t commit. Get over it already.

  15. theMountinman - Jun 3, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    I never ONCE made a statement calling for the punishment or continued persecution of Joyce. I feel sorry for the guy. I also never expressed any belief that umps should be free from error. That would be rediculous, as humans are not capable of perfection over time. My beef is with Selig. Knowing that humans are in fact prone to error, and NOT employing a means to redress such errors is asking for trouble. NOT overturing THIS call is a gross miscarrage of fair play.
    Try READING posts, Mr. Rose, BEFORE you open your blowhole.

  16. J Rose - Jun 3, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    My bad. I guess I misinterpreted the meaning of your statements as condemnation of the ump. You never specifically said what sort of resolution you wanted, and when you said you are not in support of a reversal, I didn’t think you were calling out Selig. I will close my blowhole and resume.

  17. Gary L - Jun 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    This had to bee one of the greatest moments in in any level of sports. Jim Joyce made a mistake. Galarraga accepted it with a wry smile. Joyce apologized and Galarraga accepted it with concern about how the other was feeling. This is sporsmanship at its finest. I personally think they both need to be put in the “Hall Of Fame” for how they handled it. I’m talking Cooperstown with staues and plagues. They were great.

  18. theMountinman - Jun 3, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Well, I appreciate the retraction, but feel the need to clarify yet one more of your statements. I wrote that I didn’t support a reversal THAT REQUIRES SPECULATION. I followed immediately with ‘This is not that case.’ Clearly (or so I thought), I was calling for a reversal by the only person with the authority to do so: Selig.

    In any case, I am now proceding with your suggestion to ‘… get over it already.’

    (grin)

  19. scatterbrian - Jun 3, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    No plagues in the Hall of Fame, please. I still haven’t been.

  20. Utley's hair - Jun 3, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Are we talking bubonic? Or an influx of botox? How about the Red Death? In any event, I feel for the residents of Cooperstown.

  21. justiceforgalaraga - Jun 3, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    I’ve been watching and reading about this play for the last 24 hours, and I haven’t gotten a response to my alternate to a complete reversal by Selig. Bud isn’t even needed here! Official scorers change calls regularly. As soon as the call was blown, I told my family that the scorer should just call it an error, and Galarraga would still have himself a no-hitter, while Joyce, Selig and MLB all save face! A pretty damn good consolation prize!

  22. Rays fan - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    Except no error was committed. Whose fielding stat gets screwed to create this consolation prize?

  23. justiceforgalaraga - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    I understand what you’re saying, but 1) who would care? certainly not galarraga! nor cabrera either, and he did kinda double pump/maybe bobble it a little?! 2) it’s just not important who gets the error, what IS important is righting a wrong, and this is such an obvious solution for everyone involved!

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