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The cowardly commissioner

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig responded to the Armando Galarraga/Jim Joyce situation. Sort of. It took him 18 hours to issue a statement that said little. Instead his decision to not reverse the call came out through “anonymous source with knowledge of the situation.” Why Selig couldn’t do this himself is beyond me.

The statement is below, for the sake of completeness. I trust everybody has seen it at this point.

“First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.

“The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim’s candor illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.

“As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently. While the human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night’s call and other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and presidents.”

It’s not that I think Selig is making a mistake by not reversing the call. While I would love for Galarraga to get the credit he deserves and Joyce the peace of mind he is lacking, there is definitely a case to be made for not reversing a judgment call. Of course Selig doesn’t bother to make this case in the statement or in a media session.

Instead a Selig lackey somehow manages to get with every major sports news outlet and inform them that Selig isn’t going to overturn the call. Given that Fox, ESPN, SI, AP… all had this information about the same time as the release of the statement leads me to think that this anonymous source either had a conference call or sent out an email with a big BCC list.

My guesses for the reason for this approach are:

  1. Selig didn’t want to overturn the call but didn’t want to actually make the decision and seem like the bad guy
  2. Selig hasn’t decided what to do yet, and by not saying anything in the statement and instead floating information from “a source” he can evaluate the response before making his decision.

The irony is that this ordeal has been an exercise in grace, class, accepting responsibility for decisions, and humbly asking for forgiveness. Jim Joyce received applause from fans of the team who he just took a perfect game away from because he didn’t hide behind prepared statements. He stood up in front of everyone and with extreme sincerity said he screwed up.

Joyce had to make his decision in a split second. Selig had time, replays, advisors, and a host of options that Joyce didn’t have. Yet Selig still chose to act without any sort of meaningful authority.

Though Selig mentions the courage of Joyce and the dignity of the Tigers organization, he fails to display any of that in his handling of the reversal decision. Galarraga, Joyce, the Detroit Tigers, and baseball fans deserve far better.

Posted by on June 4, 2010.

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Categories: Uncategorized

76 Responses

  1. I have no idea why Selig can’t overturn the call with a statement beginning with, “Due to the extremely unusual circumstances involving Wednesday night’s events . . . .” That would make everyone happy (especially own umpire) and ensure that the commissioner’s office did not open the door to future call reversals.

    by Andrew on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:01 am

  2. He’s a big, giant, coward. Just as you said Bilfer. This guy is handling this situation like a putz. Man up, or step down. Sheesh.

    And for the record, I’m all for a reversal. Like Andrew said, begin with a statement showing the unusual circumstances to justify it and go from there. Make it right… That’s his duty.

    by Smith on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

  3. The funny thing about Selig’s released statement, he gives every reason for why he should overturn the call – ‘As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently.’ and ‘Given last night’s call and other recent events’.

    So right there Selig admits that there was a mistake, that Galarraga threw a perfect game, and that changes should be made. Sadly though when put in a tough situation and the media all focused on him Selig did what he does best, he stuck his head in the sand and hoped everyone would leave him alone.

    Had Selig been the 1B umpire instead of Joyce I imagine he would’ve been baffled as to what call to make and would’ve signaled for a tie. The guy has done wonders for the game of baseball in relation to making it’s media presence far greater than what it had been 5-10 years ago, but when it comes to making decisions that can affect the game directly the guy is still stuck looking at Abner Doubleday’s notes still. He worries that Instant Replay will slow down the game more…perhaps allowing batters to perform Yoga routines between pitches should be disallowed, or fifty trips to the mound from various players to discuss dinner plans, and how about getting batters to pick up the pace on their home-run trots? Managers coming out to argue a close call (which oddly enough would be viewable by instant replay) wastes time in the game, if an in-booth umpire were reviewing the play the correct call could be made in moments instead of manager v. umpire with random spittle flying between the two and wasting time. Now I believe those confrontations can be fun to watch but they waste about as much time in a game as a replay review would.

    by Jason on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

  4. AMEN SIR!

    by Anthony L. on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:45 am

  5. I understand Selig’s fear of creating a precedent, but this was so isolated that its circumstances are completely unique in that a final out changes nothing but an undeserved base hit.

    There’s already precent for doing so:
    * George Brett’s pine tar game
    * By rule, any upheld protest in a game is replayed from the point of the protest.
    * Any rainout before 5 innings “changes history” by wiping out all stats that have occurred…heck Miggy has already lost a homer this year on a rainout.

    His refusal ito correct this error is excuses and hand-wringing. Considering that all other parties (AG, Joyce, Leyland, Tigers, fans, Indians, etc.) have handled this situation the RIGHT Way, the right thing for Selig to do is to take away the hit, the 28th AB, and add AG to the list of perfect games.

    by rings on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

  6. I couldn’t agree any more with all your comments. Given the magnitiude of what was at stake coupled with the fact that MLB had a chance to correct a serious wrong for the ‘best interest of baseball’, Mr. Selig’s inaction for better or worse was a serious mistake. Furthermore, I would like to add something just as important that has transpired in the aftermath of all this. We are always taught the morals of good sportsmanship from our first introduction into youth sports and throughout are remaining years playing in various adult recreation leagues etc. or prehaps professionally, and we react indifferent to the athletes and the managers, coaches, etc. that display a lack of grasping that important quality. Our whole Nation has witnessed the spirit and embodiment of the essence of good sportsmanship in the grandest of all grand games, baseball and our notions of that concept were reaffirmed. What is left, is the notion that wrongs must be made right if possible and we reward good sportsmanship with fairness and indifference. By reversing this bad call Mr. Selig is further allowing MLB to ensure that good sportsmanship is rewarded with fairness and indifference and not punished.

    by Gordon Kraft on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:24 am

  7. Galarraga should at least get an asterisk.

    by Vince in MN on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

  8. well stated Bilfer! but i don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone…its just ‘Selig being Selig’…

    by Stormin Norman $ on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

  9. The baseball commissioner is not sports job, it’s a politician’s job. The first rule of being a politician is to avoid making unpopular decisions. He was able to do that in this case, so he took the avenue.

    The leaking of bad news through an underling, while making an announcemnt at the same time is straight out of a City Hall playbook.

    I love how he has this commission with several baseballl men, who 3 of them said overturn it, including Larussa and I assume Leyland, but ignores them.

    I’m not sure if I want it overturned at this point, it does open a slope. What would happen if Crowe hit a two run homer after the blown call? Do you change it then.

    There is precedent for taking away no hitters. There was a committee that look at old games and wiped away about 50 no hitters from the early days

    by mark@Hou on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

  10. Surprisingly, I read a great comment on Mlive.com about what Selig could have said if he wanted to reverse the call:

    “After consulting with the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, MLBPA, and the Umpire’s Union, we have determined there are very special, unique circumstances involved with this event. Given the nature of the situation: it was the last out of the game, it involved a perfect game, the final out was recorded with the following batter, the video replay was 100% conclusive, and the active umpiring crew admitted the call was made in error, I have decided that as commissioner I can right a wrong without affecting the integrity of the game. Therefore I am overturning the ruling in last night’s game and awarding Armando Galarraga the distinction of pitching the 21′s perfect game in Major League baseball history. This decision shall be considered non-precedent setting, and the rules for post-game review of in-game decisions shall remain in effect. Again, this is a one time very unique circumstance and the league office will not make common practice of reviewing or reversing on-field decisions.”

    It would be hard to argue with something so lucid.

    And I’m sure there are some people who can’t stand Keith Olbermann because of his politics, but his knowledge about baseball is unparalleled. He gave some history about MLB reversing calls and talked to Ken Burns. It was pretty enlightening.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#37501170

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#37501188

    On that last link, you’ll probably want to fast forward past Granholm’s giant mug to get to Ken Burns at 4:25.

    by KW on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:49 am

  11. In Abner Doubleday’s notes, there were no umpires. Gentlemen were supposed to know when they were out and safe without argument…Bet Donald would have called himself out on that play.

    Selig is a weasel. He made the easy decision, which is no decision at all. Then leaked his “decision” through other sources. Is anyone surrprised at Selig’s actions here?

    by mark@Hou on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

  12. and shortly thereafter, Selig should graciously kiss Galarraga’s… assterisk

    by Stormin Norman $ on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

  13. I better not hear one word from the commisoner’s office, after we sign our first round supplemental picks to above slot. They better approve those bonuses immediately.

    After saying the Tigers acted with great sportsmanship, and humility.

    by mark@Hou on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

  14. Great post ! Well said.

    by Rodney Craig on Jun 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

  15. I wonder about the Cleveland Indians’ role in all of this. If THEY requested the change (in addition to all of the other factors already mentioned), that would have to make some sort of difference. I think it would certainly help reduce the “setting a precedent” factor.

    So, did the Indians do the right thing, or not?

    by Andrew in Toronto on Jun 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

  16. Letter To Mr. Selig,
    “Dear Mr. Selig,
    The politicians have Joe the Plumber. I guess you can call me Joe the Baseball Fan. I love watching a good game, and I enjoy the very real human emotions which are part of our wonderful pasttime. Although I am not a Tiger’s fan, even I am getting emotional thinking that Mr. Galarraga’s once-in-a-lifetime performance may blow away in the wind, without the due recognition of being called a “Perfect Game”.
    “I read somewhere that the Commissioner has the authority to reverse a call such as the one that happened to steal what should have been a perfect game. My questions to you are simple….if not this call, then which? If not now, then when? On what type of call would you possibly use the authority vested in you, if it is not used here? After all, we all now know that reversing the call would not have any possibility of changing the final score, the standings, or have any negative effect on the game. It will, however, help to restore Joe Fan’s confidence in your office. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult, but nontheless, is is still the right thing to do. It is not negated by the fact that it is tough.
    “I also read somewhere that you were concerned about setting a precedent. With all due respect, sir, I do not understand this concern. What is wrong with reversing a call such as this, which happened under such extremely unusual circumstances, using the power that is bestowed upon you, to right a wrong that will probably never be seen again in our lifetimes. Set the precedent, and release a statement that justifies it – “If the last out of a perfect game is not called due to a proven incorrect call, and when the next out ends the game, hence erasing any hope of victory for the losing team, this office will invoke its authority to reverse said call and award the perfect game”. There you go, a precedent which will probably never be used again, except for this one time, and which will return this performance back to what it unofficially is….an official perfect game for eternity. Please now do what I can imagine Mr. Joyce only wishes he had the authority to do….make the right call after the fact. So far, everyone involved with this situation has handled it with class and dignity, and have said all the right things. For Mr. Galarraga, for Mr. Joyce, for Tiger fans, and for baseball fans everywhere, please continue that streak. Please.
    Best regards,
    Joe the Fan”

    Steve S
    abfSteve@aol.com

    by Steve on Jun 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

  17. Perfectly written statement; strongly worded, empathetic, and iron clad — unfortunately Selig we neither see it nor say it.

    Maybe the NEXT commissioner will take it up someday.

    by JimWalewander on Jun 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

  18. If Jim Joyce had the authority to reverse his decision, he would have. The fact is, the only person who can do that is Bud Selig. He **SHOULD** do it.

    In light of this, I believe that he is no longer what’s best for the game, and should retire.

    by Jim McKee on Jun 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  19. you are writing to a guy who called an All Star game a tie game,,,,you actually think he has the guts to change this ……….he has the power yes,,,the intestinal fortitude never!
    while we are at it put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame where he belongs!

    by jud on Jun 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

  20. Yeah it’s pretty obvious that he is out of touch with what most modern day sports fans are interested in seeing. Not all but most.

    We put up with the human element because the technology just wasn’t there to assist in making the games more accurate and balanced. In this day and age to have the tools available to us it just makes them seem senile to not utilize them.

    On top of that pretty much everybody wins. The players get what they earned and deserved, and the Umpires don’t have to worry about having a bad call as a harbinger over the rest of their careers.

    It’s a good comparison to Selig as more of a politician, and if politics has taught Americans anything its that if it makes sense to do it then it probably won’t get done.

    by Anthony L. on Jun 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  21. “…Selig hasn’t decided what to do yet, and by not saying anything in the statement and instead floating information from “a source” he can evaluate the response before making his decision…”

    If this is the case, we need give him a response. “Awe shucks, Bud” ain’t gonna cut it. He’s a coward, and this town should let him have it. I admire Tiger fans for applauding Jim Joyce — because he did the right thing, as a man — but this is no time to turn the other cheek as far as Bud Selig is concerned. The city of Detroit, Tiger fans, and the media in Detroit in particular, all need to turn up the heat on Bud Selig. This city has apparently ceded reaction to the Frank Deford’s and the Keith Obermann’s of the world — both of whom have made a case to reverse the call. Stand up Detroit! I want to see equal passion from the local media. Take a stand! If nothing more, this controversy should not fade with the wind. AG deserves better, the Tigers deserve better, and we fans of this storied organization deserve better.

    by T Smith on Jun 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm

  22. Detroit made nice and that’s good. Armando pitched a perfect game. I still don’t understand how that numnuck couldn’t see it. We all saw he was out. Last out of a perfect game and he can’t see it? In my perfect world the whole baseball world would have stopped and action would be taken. The game would be perfect and replays would start right away. I’m sorry, but I still can’t help but feel that ump had some inner problem with Detroit. He was blind. We got robbed!!!!!!!!!!

    by kathy on Jun 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm

  23. Every night we see mistakes made by umpires in almost every game. We see it because of technology. Bud Selig is so slow!

    by kathy on Jun 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

  24. Selig will only make changes that puts more money in his wallet. His testimonies at congress proved how inept he is. The man is liar and doesn’t care about people other than himself. We know it’s a perfect game. Ignoring instant replay is as ignorant as a judge ignoring DNA evidence in a rape case. We were raped. We know who done it, have evidence, and a full confession. But the Judge won’t hear it and drops the case. It’s all a great injustice. Foul cry for baseball.

    by Keith (Mr. X) on Jun 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

  25. Just a question, could a future commissioner overturn this? I know I read an article where in 1991 a commissioner put together a committee and took away about 50 no-hitters. Selig is horrible. How can MLB not have replay in 2010.

    by Nick S on Jun 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

  26. Reversing the call shouldn’t be done for Galarraga or the umpire. It should be done to save the face of the game. It should be done for humanity. We are better than this.

    by Keith (Mr. X) on Jun 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

  27. As somebody that watched the Wings get screwed on several occasions this year, in spite of replay reviews, I have no faith in technology eliminating officiating errors in sports. If anything, it makes them even harder to swallow when they happen, because with reviews you’re really not expecting them (unless you turn into one of us tin-foil-hat-Wings-fans). Anytime the Wings score on a close-call, I know I can’t cheer just yet, because I have to wait for the inevitable review to confirm or deny. Close calls at critical times in the NFL suffer from the same momentum-killing delays. I really don’t want that in baseball. That HRs are reviewed is arbitrary enough (why not plays at the plate?), and although I think it will eventually happen, I’d rather see review kept as much out of baseball as possible.

    I think its been said already, but not many people outside of Oakland will remember Braden’s p-game (maybe cause he’s a lil on the douchey side)…but because of this and the way the team handled itself, I think Galarraga’s “near” perfection will be that much more remembered.

    by andre on Jun 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm

  28. You are right. When the asterisk of Maris record was justly but too late erased, they erased all asterisk . This ended erasing no hitters of 7 inning( rain) or no hitters when the pitcher lost the game so he didnt pitch the 9th

    by JCM on Jun 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm

  29. There probably wasn’t one person who thought Michael Phelps won that race in the relay(Olympicsd) until we saw the slo-mo hundreds of times to see his finger touch the wall first.

    by kathy on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm

  30. How about this:

    We change Galarraga to number 21 (I believe this was Willis’ number, so it should be available ??) That is one jersey I will buy. Galarraga 21. Hell, why not retire the number while we’re at it? If MLB won’t reconginze Armando Galarraga pitched the 21st perfect game in the history of the sport, the Detroit Tigers should. In any way they can.

    The fact that Galarraga’s (with no disrespect intended) career accomplishments will likely never merit a retired number makes the move even more delicious. A statue at Comerica, his number on the wall ?? Of course any of these moves would border on the absurd — perhaps the sincerest form of sarcasm the team could express — a subtle way to give MLB the finger while recogizing in the anals of baseball history that Armando Galarraga did indeed pitch the 21st perfect game in baseball history.

    by T Smith on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm

  31. Yank!

    by kathy on Jun 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm

  32. Technology won’t eliminate errors, but it will greatly reduce obvious errors. It takes me a few seconds to hit the instant replay button on my remote. Then it takes me about15 seconds to review a play on my TV. It’s that fast and simple.
    Baseball just needs an ump that can do the same thing and be able to communicate with the other umps on the field. Just give the umps some Blackberries or IPhones. How hard is it to Text Msg – U F’d up. He’s Out. Or I could just write an app for that.

    by Keith (Mr. X) on Jun 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm

  33. Halladay’s perfect game was shown on MLB Network today. New York or Boston would not tolerate Bud Selig’s decision. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that got flushed down the toilet because some umpire made an idiotic mistake.

    by kathy on Jun 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

  34. Mr X.,

    I think you’re missing the point. There are plenty of examples of other sports that use replay and still get decisions wrong. Technology might be somewhat of a safety net, but in the end, the “human element” can overcome all kinds of obvious calls.

    by andre on Jun 4, 2010 at 11:58 pm

  35. Great post Billfer. I really, truly believe that the right thing to do is to overturn the call and give Galarraga the his due recognition. I think this can be done because there is precedent to lean on, and further, because the comissioner’s office would avoid any risk of being in a tough spot on a future bad call. This situation is unique and not likely to rise again any time soon and it is not an issue affecting the outcome of a game.

    That being said, what I find most galling is, what you rightly describe, as the cowardly approach to the issue the commissioner has taken. I’m sure nobody cares, but this really is the last straw for me and this guy. I just think he’s worthless and has undeservedly filled the roll of commissioner for far too long. What a freaking gutless turd.

    by Joey C. on Jun 5, 2010 at 1:40 am

  36. [...] have a booger bone to pick with Bud Selig, but Billfer at Detroit Tigers Weblog says it much better than I ever could.  I guess we should’ve expected Selig to issue a veiled statement [...]

    by Cowardly Commissioner Bud Selig | detroit.rssible.com on Jun 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

  37. Or they could give him Granderson’s old number to signify his 28-up, 28-down perfect game.

    by Rick G on Jun 5, 2010 at 7:26 am

  38. What really saddens me at last Wednesday’s game was that I may never live to see another perfect game by a Tigers pitcher. It is such a rare event.

    Given:
    a. There are 20 perfect games since 1880 (130 years) or one every 6.5 years
    b. Assume there is a 50/50 chance of a perfect game being pitched in either the AL or NL. Therefore, one AL perfect game every 13 years.
    c. I have been a Tiger fan since 1966, or 44 seasons. Since I am 55 years old, I hope I make it to 85, or 30 more seasons with the Tigers before I switch teams to the Angels.
    d. The existing 14 teams in the AL remains constant for the next 30 years.
    e. Classical probability rules tells us that the Tigers have a 1/14 or 7 percent chance of participating in a perfect game and a 50/50 chance of winning it. So that means there is a 3.5 percent chance of the Tigers being in the next AL perfect game and winning it. To go even lower, they have a 1.75 percent chance of doing it at home.

    Then:
    a. Over the next 30 years, we will probably see 2.3 perfect games pitched in the AL (30/13 = 2.31)
    b. The chance of the Tigers being in one of those games and winning it is a little over 8 percent (2.3 x 3.5 = 8 percent)
    c. So in the next 30 seasons, we have an 8 percent chance of seeing the Tigers win a perfect game. To see such a game at home is only a 4 percent chance.
    d. To continue to rub salt in the wound ~ 162 games x 30 seasons = 4,860 games. 8 percent / 4,860 games = 0.000016 percent chance to see a Verlander toss a perfect game tonight.

    Of course this is a back of the envelope calculation that can surely be improved but it does layout the truly uniqueness of what we saw last Wednesday evening. Of course I remain a devoted and enthusiastic Tiger fan and remain confident that one day that I will see such a perfect game in person with my wife, daughter, future grandchildren and brothers who are also Tiger fans

    by Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi on Jun 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

  39. It’s really all just sick. And to pat the umpire on the back is sick too. There is still no logical justification for him to even make that call, and that’s his only job. His job isn’t to be a screwup and then have good PR skills, his job is to get calls right, or in situations like that to not blow the call and give the proper benefit of the doubt especially considering it was the last out in a meaningless 3-0 regular season game. To not restore the perfect game and walk away giving a complement to the umpire is insane. He deserves to be tarred and feathered and should be barred from attending a MLB baseball game for life as an employee or as a fan. This guy has raped baseball, and the commissioner who has been raping baseball himself every day since on the job is just not an unbiased person to be handling this matter considering the circumstances.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

  40. This may be the most idiotic comment I’ve read on the whole situation.

    by billfer on Jun 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm

  41. Well Played Mauer!

    Ok Bilfer, given what Selig has proposed, do you think that it is possible that once this examination of instant replay is completed and the recommendations are adopted, that they would then have the infrastructure in place to apply it to Armando’s game? That would allow the Commissioner to save face by not getting directly involved. Rather they are simply applying new procedures (one time only) to a former game but with out impacting the final result/score of the game.

    by Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi on Jun 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

  42. Could we please stop comparing the stolen perfect game to rape? Rape is the most heinous of crimes and has no place in a discussion of a GAME.

    by Former Fan of Billfer's Site on Jun 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm

  43. Here’s the thing Mississippi:

    We all need to start looking at this as it is. You DID see a Tiger pitch a perfect game. Just because MLB didn’t see it, doesn’t mean you didn’t.

    What you didn’t see is the celebration. Even though I saw Armando Galarraga pitch a perfect game, I’m still kinda bummed I didn’t get to see the fanfare afterward.

    by T Smith on Jun 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

  44. Agreed 100%. One of the more disappointing elements here is the seeming apathy of our petty little market. Perhaps it’s not entirely fair to compare the scope of influence of the Detroit Tigers with NY or Boston — but it still would do my heart good to see the Detroit media and Tigers fans wage more of a passionate protest campaign. If not for the ultimate reversal of the call, then for supporting the validity of what we all witnessed June 2, 2010.

    by T Smith on Jun 5, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  45. To paraphrase Ken Burns, baseball moves in glacial ways. Eventually, when replay is expanded (and probably after Selig is gone), the call will be overturned and we will have a big celebration. Hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later so we can throw Galarraga a big party at Comerica Park with all the current players. But it will probably be 50 years from now, because that’s just how MLB do.

    by KW on Jun 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

  46. Amen, T Smith.

    by KW on Jun 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

  47. I agree with everything you said but not the rape part. We may feel like we were raped, but what he did was burglarize us. He stole our perfect game. As far as I’m concerned he shouldn’t ever be on a MLB field.

    by kathy on Jun 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  48. It was a poor choice of words. People bandy words about carelessly, without due consideration. Jim Joyce is human, and so is TSE. I assume these words are not meant in literally. Being passionately incorrect may offend, but regardless, Billfler’s site has nothing to do with it.

    by T Smith on Jun 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm

  49. There are a lot of rules and codes to the game of baseball and what this umpire did was a travesty. He had no business making an out call under the circumstances, and in doing so he violated the code of the game. What he did is far worse than what Pete Rose did. He committed an unforgivable sin against the game itself, one that has no valid or logical excuse, and I can’t see any justification for letting a person like this be associated with the game. He is so far removed from qualifying as a legitimate official for this sport.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm

  50. I don’t feel he raped us so much as the dignity of the sport. MLB fans should never have to witness somebody executing such an egregious level of incompetence and disrespect for the rules of the game as they are understood by true baseball fans. His actions are too perverse to constitute as a simply burglary, those matters can often be resolved by just returning the item stolen or paying the equivalent restitution price, but with a rape you take something intangible away, and that doesn’t have a directly translatable numeric value. It’s taking from the soul, and in this case it’s taking from the soul of the game itself.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm

  51. The most heinous of crimes? Worse than murder or mutilation? Man I know a rape can be a tough thing to deal with, but at least sometimes rape victims escape serious bodily injury unlike the real most heinous crimes. And for T Smith, obviously it’s not meant literally. Rape has to do with sexual intercourse, and Jim Joyce F-ed the game of baseball figuratively not literally, and we don’t have any vaginal tears, just the stolen moment and any psychological effects that accompany the experience. That’s why it’s like a rape, figuratively.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  52. I’m totally with you on the “egrgious level of imcompetence”. I’m still in a rage about it, myself. But, what bothers me, is the fact he apologzed (as soon as he saw the replay) but there were no consequences for his actions. A criminal can cry and apologize, but there are consequences no matter how sorry you are. Besides, with burglary, there is no forced or consensual strings to it. I’ts just plain out theft. Tore my heart apart.

    by kathy on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  53. I also lost a lot of respect because of his apology because I didn’t think it was appropriate enough and I don’t think he manned up. He lost his chance with trying to gain my sympathy by pussyfooting around with a weak apology that didn’t measure up to the same magnitude that his horrible action represented. I expected an equivalent apology and we got shafted. This guy is a real loser and deserves no redemption from the game of baseball, he should be cast out with the garbage on Monday.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:55 pm

  54. I do have complete confident that this WILL be a perfect game one day. It’s only a matter of time before a commissioner that has some sense about him is in power and he will make the change. Hopefully it will be rectified before Armando passes away, but nevertheless, it IS a perfect game today and always has been and always will, for when that day comes and that change is retroactive, everything from that moment forward we were observing a perfect game and just didnt know it. So pretend that it is so at least you can trick the time travel system so that you can enjoy this perfect game now in the present. I know it’s cheating but sometimes cheating is ok under unusual circumstances where you know time travel is just going to bail you out later anyhow.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm

  55. He should have been sent to umpire rehab and his call revoked. The game is perfect. Period. Bud Selig…..he should be cast out with the garbage and the Player’s Union should be in line to do it instead of shaking hands with that “umpire”. It’s a disgrace, beyond belief, to MLB. I’ll never be able to let go of ths until they make it right.

    by kathy on Jun 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm

  56. I like the umpire rehab idea!

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

  57. Yeah this guy has been watching too many BP PR statements.

    by TSE on Jun 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm

  58. They will eventually make this right. Unfortunatley, Bud Selig will be long gone — and all of us likely as well.

    by T Smith on Jun 6, 2010 at 12:10 am

  59. Did you guys see the Cotto – Forman fight tonight? I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but it was an epic fight with a crazy ending in the last round. The referee in this fight was a shining example of how to properly act in an unusual set of circumstances in the midst of a lot of excitement and drama. Tonight was the perfect example of what professional and logical refereeing was all about. Make sure you guys find this fight and watch this last round and see this fine example of Referee Arthur Mercate Jr getting the damn thing right, rules or no rules he wasn’t going to let BS happen on his watch.

    by TSE on Jun 6, 2010 at 12:44 am

  60. There was no disrespect for the rules of the game. He didn’t act with bias or malice. He called what he saw and he got it wrong. And it’s a freaking game.

    The expectation that any human being is able to get every call right and every time an umpire blows a call he is excommunicated is logically bereft. There would be no umpires.

    Jim Joyce has been a big league ump for over 20 years. How many of you knew his name? He doesn’t intentionally cause disruptions like Joe West. He doesn’t pick fights like Angel Hernandez. In large part he has had operated in anonymity because he makes the right call.

    He blew this one. Comparing it to Pete Rose who knowingly and willfully broke the rules and altered the outcomes of games to serve his own purposes is asinine.

    by billfer on Jun 6, 2010 at 8:41 am

  61. The next person that mentions rape in this thread will be banned from commenting on the site. Don’t test me.

    by billfer on Jun 6, 2010 at 8:42 am

  62. Oh wise one, tell me exactly what would have been a suitable apology for “the magnitude that this horrible action represented.”

    by billfer on Jun 6, 2010 at 8:46 am

  63. Sorry, billfer. I enjoy this blog too much to lose my membership. I guess we’ll always disagree over Joyce, though. However, he may have judged with bias and doesn’t know it himself.

    by kathy on Jun 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

  64. Enough with the Galarraga Saga already. Play ball.

    by Vince in MN on Jun 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm

  65. Classical probability is about the past , Porcello can pitch a perfect game this week. JV was in pace to one until 4th inn last night. Until the first hit or walk or hbp every game is on way to perfect

    by JCM on Jun 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  66. An todays game is on pace to perfect disaster

    by JCM on Jun 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  67. I find it amazing that the pitcher himself has pretty much forgiven and shrugged everything off, but some fans are making it out to be one of the worst events in the history of the game…please read up on Cobb stomping the handicapped fan with his spikes if you want to get on a soapbox about ruining the dignity of the sport.

    It was an honest mistake, and an unfortunate one..but you, me and everyone else will remember Armando had a perfect game. In fact, I would argue this might become one of the most famous/notable perfect games of all time.

    Joyce didnt even have to apologize at all…but the fact that he instantly approached Armando shows me his sincerity. As for no consequences for the ump? He wont be remembered for his 20 years of a spotless reputation, his legacy in fact will be this terrible error, which was an anomaly if you look back on his career. Thats a rather severe consequence in my opinion.

    by ian (seattle) on Jun 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

  68. Five stages of grief on Armando’s Perfecto

    Denial– That couldnt have happened. Everyone basically jumped out of this one on the first or second replay.

    Anger — Sadly many people are still in this phase.

    Bargaining — The official scorer should change it to an error or Bud should overturn it crowd . I still think the scorer should just change it to an error.

    Depression — The I feel horrible for Armando and/or Joyce crowd

    Acceptance — They have continued to play baseball, hopefully this leads to an expanded replay crowd.

    If your still in the second stage, you should try to get yourself to the 3rd stage.

    Joyce has been the man about this. He has done everything right after the call. I watch a ton of baseball a year, I didn’t even know who Joyce was besides recognizing his name. He’s not West, Bucknor, or Angel Hernandez, guys who are bad umpires and stubborn as heck about it. This is a totally different situation, because those guys wouldn’t have admitted they were wrong yet or apologized.

    by Mark@HOU on Jun 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  69. That’s bologna, he didn’t just get the call wrong, he had no business attempting to make an out call in that situation, unless it was 100% sure. He went against the unwritten rules of baseball which say you give the benefit of the doubt to the player in the special situation which is usually the runner but not in a meaningless 3-0 game when a pitcher has a perfect game to protect. You don’t dare take a perfect game away because you THINK he might be safe, you better be darn sure or it’s a cardinal sin against the game. For you to not understand this is really mind boggling, you are supposed to understand the game more than the common fan. Your defense of this guy is bewildering.

    by TSE on Jun 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  70. It would have to be in his own words, there isn’t one exact set of words that have to said to make it work.

    by TSE on Jun 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  71. Baseball’s unwritten rules are idiotic. THe umps job is not to give guys/teams the benefit of the doubt based on the situation of the game. It is to call it as he sees it.

    Are you serious with this garbage that you are spewing?

    by JB on Jun 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

  72. That’s garbage. He called what he saw and he blew it. You don’t change the rules.

    I’m just a common fan myself, I don’t know why I’m supposed to understand your made up rules more than anyone else.

    by billfer on Jun 7, 2010 at 5:07 am

  73. You are detached from what the rules are then. The rules are you don’t call people out unless you can see that they are out! That’s always been the rule and he violated it despite special circumstances on the line for the team trying to secure the out. So he broke the rules and he didn’t give benefit of the doubt to those that were trying to make history and DID their job. When a boxing champion is challenged and all 12 rounds are a vanilla tie, they always side the tie to the champion. If you are going to be a challenger and try to take a belt away from the guy that has earned it up til that point, then you have to BEAT him, not tie him or come really close. Galaragga was 26-0, going for an epic streak, and there is NO logical justification whatsoever for making that out call, because the visuals weren’t there and the burden of the challenger hadn’t been even remotely close to the ballpark of deserving a benefit of the doubt. Mistakes like this should not happen in an umpire’s entire lifetime. Just one time is way beyond acceptable.

    by TSE on Jun 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

  74. Ok I’m retarded, I meant you don’t call guys safe unless you see that they are safe. There is no such thing as giving a free base, you have to have visual evidence to award a bag. Absence of evidence means you are guessing. So if you are not sure, then why the heck is he guessing against the guy that deserves the benefit of the doubt? There is no logical explanation, either you are sure he’s out, or you guess, and if you guess you have no business guessing for the runner in that situation. Simple and not possible to screw up unless you are an unqualified and incompetent umpire.

    by TSE on Jun 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  75. Where in the rule book does it say “you don’t call people out unless you can see that they are out!”? What does it have to do with boxing? Why do special circumstances come into play. There is not one logical thing you said in your post. There is no call for benefit of the doubt. Yes, emotionally we want the benefit of the doubt to go to the guy going for the perfect game. He blew the call. We agree on that. But you have clearly let your emotions overtake logic.

    by billfer on Jun 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

  76. It was his own words. He was sincere. He didn’t make excuses. But then you didn’t like it so I asked what would make you happy, and again you don’t have an answer.

    by billfer on Jun 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm

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About the Site Detroit Tigers Weblog was launched in July, 2001. At the time it was the only Tigers blog and it resided as a blogspot page. There were multiple authors and it mostly consisted of links to the rare times the Tigers were mentioned in the national media. We only had a few dozen […]more →

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