June 4, 2010

"Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, did not believe it was his place to overturn Joyce's call."

"He did not want to open that sort of Pandora's box, and it is absolutely a fair and reasonable position to take. Selig has never used his immense best-interests-of-the-game powers even though he has threatened to do that a few times, and didn't do it here, even though I believe he should have." 

67 comments:

HDHouse said...

Ken Burn's had interesting comments on this matter last night on Countdown, believing that eventually Selig will award the perfect game but only after things settle down a bit.

Frankly I think all parties directly involved are putting on a good show of this and it is refreshing to see a sincerely apology gracefully accepted.

joyce said...

Yes, my name is Joyce. It is my first name. I have never heard it connected to baseball before. Why not use the technology, as they do in horse racing. The ump admitted he was wrong.

Lem said...

He did not want to open that sort of Pandora's box, and it is absolutely a fair and reasonable position to take. Selig has never used his immense best-interests-of-the-game powers even though he has threatened to do that a few times, and didn't do it here..

Good.. Once again, the powers of an emotional rush to an erratic decision are vanquished and reason prevails preserving the integrity of the game I love.

This is good for baseball.

Lem said...

Why not use the technology, as they do in horse racing.

I will not dignify that with a response.

traditionalguy said...

The extra pub has made Gallaraga and Baseball more money and fame than 10 perfect but dull games would have done.

George Grady said...

"He did not want to open that sort of Pandora's box..."

Yeah, because perfect games are mistakenly, admittedly, and unarguably screwed up by umpires on the very last at-bat every other week or so.

rhhardin said...

Bring in Justice Souter.

Living baseball rules.

Lem said...

Yeah, because perfect games are mistakenly, admittedly, and unarguably screwed up by umpires on the very last at-bat every other week or so.

The game has survived real scandal for well over a century.

A blown call is not enough of a reason to alter the rules of the game.

MadisonMan said...

I so very seldom agree with Bud Selig, but here I do.

k*thy said...

Gallaraga is in a zone of serenity that we don't see very often. It seems enough to him to know in his heart that he had the perfect game and he's ok with that.

I hope Joyce can also move on from this, as he has been forgiven by the man most harmed.

And finally, I expect that some other commissioner down the road may overrule this. I don't think it will be Selig.

George Grady said...

Lem,

It wouldn't be altering the rules. It would just be acknowledging that what everyone knows happened actually happened. No results would change. The standings wouldn't change. It would have no effect on the postseason, this year or any year. This isn't changing the game in any way. It merely changes how we refer to one event that happened during the game so that it better matches what actually happened.

Comrade X said...

If I were Gallaraga I'd be OK with it. There are 20 guys that have thrown perfect games, but only one who did it and didn't get credit, but everybody knows it and he is gracious about it.

TheGiantPeach said...

If Selig overrules this, then next week there will be a call that an ump got wrong that (unlike Joyce's call) actually affected the outcome of the game. And then, what is Selig going to do?


I hate the way that MLB is getting all heavy-handed and suppressing tapes of the game wherever they appear on the web. Whatever bad feeling this generates (as if fans didn't know already that umps blow calls), it is compounded many times by baseball's attempt to smother the incident. People have heard about the controversy, they want to see it for themselves, and Selig isn't letting them. Stupid.

wv: Does anyone else have troubles with these things? I usually have to guess two or three times before my post goes through.

Roger J. said...

Baseball is a game played and umpired by human beings, and as I think we can all agree, human beings make mistakes.

And this late breaking news: I agree with HD House-there will be ice skating on the river styx tonite. HD: appreciate your comment. We said.

Lem said...

It wouldn't be altering the rules.

Yes it would.. it would create a precedent that the call on the field are not final.

The rule is that the umps are the final arbiters of the game.

TheGiantPeach said...

Comrade X: If I were Gallaraga I'd be OK with it. There are 20 guys that have thrown perfect games, but only one who did it and didn't get credit, but everybody knows it and he is gracious about it.

Well, it certainly seems like Galarraga is OK with it. But I'm not sure if he's the only one threw a perfect game and didn't get credit for it. Milt Pappas was one strike away from a perfect game in 1972 when he threw two pitches that looked an awful lot like strikes but the ump called them as balls. To this day (I assume he's still alive), Pappas claims he threw a perfect game, but it's not in the record books.

Or, suppose that instead of a blown call on the 27th out, there had been a blown call on the sixth out, when nobody is thinking the game is the least bit remarkable. Don't you think something like that must have happened, where that one blown call ended up being the team's only base-runner, but it didn't make the news because it didn't seem crucial at the time?

What makes perfect games so rare (except in the last three weeks) is that everything has to align perfectly, including all the factors outside of the pitcher's control, like the umpiring.

George Grady said...

Lem,

No, it wouldn't need to alter the rules. The results on the field are final. No results need change. We can merely say that the game that Gallaraga threw was a perfect game, because, well, because it was. You're acting like changing what we call what Gallaraga did changes anything other than what we call what Gallaraga did.

Peano said...

Good for Selig. The umpire is right, even when he's wrong. Get over it. Move on.

Original Mike said...

I assumed Selig didn't have the authority, but if "best-interests-of-the-game" power is what it sounds like it is, he should do it.

Then he should get rid of the designated hitter.

Lem said...

I don't want Bud Zelig (a baseball owner btw) to become defacto supreme umpire.

Can you see him ruling on a blown call favoring his team?

Original Mike said...

"If Selig overrules this, then next week there will be a call that an ump got wrong that (unlike Joyce's call) actually affected the outcome of the game. And then, what is Selig going to do?"

Yeah, he'd actually have to grow a spine.

I think the fact that it doesn't affect the outcome of the game makes this an easy call.

Lem said...

We can merely say that the game that Gallaraga threw was a perfect game..

Now you want to go fantasy land?

Mookie's ground ball didn't go thru Buckner's legs in 86.. there I said it and that makes it so.

Original Mike said...

"Can you see him ruling on a blown call favoring his team?"

No, I've never been able to see strawmen.

Lem said...

You want to give Gallaraga a certificate saying he would have had a perfect game had the ump not blown the call? Go ahead.

Just don't call it a perfect game. Because it wasn't.

AllenS said...

I suppose that you could enter Armando Galarraga's name in the record books, and include an "*".

Lem said...

No, I've never been able to see strawmen.

Unless he has divested recently Bud Zelig is a Milwaukee Brewers owner.. he is also the commissioner of MLB.. No strawman.

Original Mike said...

Your question, Lem, was "Can you see..." and my answer is no, I can not. He'd never do what you suggest. Hence, strawman. Stick to the facts of this case.

Clyde said...

Lem, three words for you: "Pine Tar Game." When the Royals' protest of that game was upheld, they had to go back and replay the end of it later in the season. In this case, they wouldn't even have to replay the end, and Galarraga's 28-out perfect game would revert to the more traditional 27-out version.

The Tigers did initially protest the game, although I heard that Jim Leyland said that they weren't going to try to overturn the call.

Lem said...

Stick to the facts of this case.

The ramifications of what you ask is the entire premise behind my refusal to accept what you ask.

So yes envisioning Zelig ruling on his own team is most relevant in this case!

The history of baseball is as much a part of the game as anything else.

AllenS said...

Lem, what does Selig being the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers have to do with this?

Darcy said...

Just don't call it a perfect game. Because it wasn't.

It sure was, and millions saw it so.

I agree with you on letting it stand, though. Making it official is bending the rules in a way that would be wrong.

But it was a perfect game, and will be remembered as such. A perfect game, robbed by a bad call, but ultimately shining the light on some incredible grace and humanity.

I like it the way it is.

Original Mike said...

AllenS, can you, in a million years, see Selig overruling a call to benefit the Brewers? I can't.

Lem said...

In this case, they wouldn't even have to replay the end, and Galarraga's 28-out perfect game would revert to the more traditional 27-out version.
..

Its a credit card win.. baseball will ultimately pay for it 10 times fold.. What Zelig called the Pandora's box.

In baseball there is no such thing as "one time" - there when you appeal to the pine tar decision it proves my point.

Overruling of field calls will only lead to more appeals for overruling of field calls.

And for what? So that we can all feel better at how wonderful and magnanimous we are.. for tree minutes?

The hell with the future of the game, I want my feel good photo op with Galarraga?

Original Mike said...

Baseball has no integrity, anyways. When you let some teams have ten times more money than other teams, the thought that the competition is fair is laughable.

Lem said...

Sorry.. it seems I was getting Commissioner Selig confused with Woody's fictional Zelig.

Darcy said...

Feel good photo op? A little harsh for what was denied the man.

No, it's not about a feel good photo op. The umpire had the integrity to understand the enormity of the error. Most people do.

Lem said...

I agree with you on letting it stand, though.

An attractive baseball fan.

I'm spoiled.

Darcy said...

And then you come back with that. Aww, Lem. :)

Lem said...

A little harsh for what was denied the man.

He's going to get a bunch of chances to do it again.. not a total loss.

AllenS said...

I love baseball. Once I retired, I promised to listen to every afternoon Brewers game. Nothing better than working in the shop, or working outside listening to the game. 2008, I was over at a friends house one afternoon having some adult beverages and he had the game on tv. He had DirecTV. I signed up the next week. By the end of last years season, I was so disgusted watching the game because of the total lack of anything remotely associated with a strike zone, that I quit watching and went back to the radio.

Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darcy said...

I wonder how many players have pitched two, Lem? ;-)

wv: foldist (I am not!)

TheGiantPeach said...

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of another "perfect game" that isn't in the books as such.

Pedro Martinez, pitching for the Expos, pitched a 27 up/27 down game, never allowing a Padre to reach base in 9 innings. A perfect game? Nope. There was only one problem. His team failed to score. The 28th batter, in the top of the 10th, got a hit, and Pedro was taken out of the game.

Roger and Denise said...

Giant Peach--you think thats bad? Look at Harvey Haddix who pitched a perfect for 12 innings, only to lose it in the 13th.

Lem said...

I wonder how many players have pitched two..

Looking at an unofficial list - nobody.

Hard enough to pitch one.. not an impossibility though.

Henry said...

Lem speaks for me.

I'll add that Galarraga's perfect game can't be granted just by saying it was so.

If Bud Selig announced tomorrow that the ghosts of Joe Jackson and Christmas Past visited him last night and changed his mind, the blown call would still be historical fact. Galarraga could be given a perfect game on paper, yet history would record its imperfection. Trevor Crowe made an out as the 28th batter. The deed was done.

Lem said...

Trevor Crowe made an out as the 28th batter. The deed was done.

Good point. Nobody cant put that genie back in the bottle.

BrianE said...

I think they should be using instant replay from the playoffs to the world series.

Once you get to a short series, blown calls can affect the outcome.

They could carve an exception to allow this call be overturned and give the kid his perfect game without the slippery slope. Since this has to do with a personal record and nothing to do with the team standings (1 game out of 162) I would make the rule allowing the commissioner to overturn calls when it affects the personal record of an individual, since the history of baseball is just one big stat.

I still wouldn't allow balls and strikes to be subject to review during playoffs.

Bob_R said...

I really don't care too much about Selig's decision one way or the other. But a couple of points:

1. The "Pine Tar Incident" is a clear precedent. The call on the field was overturned even though (a) the call was correct by the letter of the rulebook and(b) the continuity of the game had to be drastically change (by resuming play on a later day). The present case would only call the final play (the 28th out) void.

2. I'm surprised the official scorer has not called the 27th "out" an error. Clearly not a hit. It was "possible" for the fielder to get an out. (Look at the replay.) There was no out. Must be an error. (Official scorers are allowed to take their time and base results on replay, so there is no real slippery slope here.)

edutcher said...

Good for him. Better leadership than you see elsewhere in this country.

Baseball hasn't been the same since the Dodgers left Brooklyn.

Henry said...

@Bob R.

At the time of the Pine Tar incident I was on the side of George Brett. It was my brother who was the Yankees fan. Anything to upset the Yankees had to be good in my book. Now I look back and I'm totally on the other side. Billy Martin was a douchebag for attempting to take advantage of a technicality and the ruling on the field was wrong in that it reversed a play after it had happened; yet American League President Lee MacPhail was completely and totally wrong in overturning the outcome of a completed game. That was a horrible precedent and validates the fact that bureaucrats should never be allowed to mess with events after they've happened.

Regarding your second point, even if the error is awarded, Galarraga loses the perfect game. A perfect game must have 27 up, 27 out. He would get credit for a no-hitter. Technically, an error can't be assigned to either Cabrera or Galarrag since neither muffed the play. I have seen some propose an "umpire error" or "team error" but neither concept exists in the rulebook.

Original Mike said...

"By the end of last years season, I was so disgusted watching the game because of the total lack of anything remotely associated with a strike zone, that I quit watching and went back to the radio."

No kidding. I like listening to baseball on the radio, but watch it? No thanks. I think balls and strikes should be called by computer.

Bob_R said...

@Henry

I agree that the Pine Tar incident can be used by either side, but I'm surprised it is not being talked about more.

Yes, a scoring change would only result in a no hitter, but it's better than nothing. If I was the scorer and didn't want to make waves I'd assign the error to Galarraga. If I wanted to make waves I'd assign it to Joyce and see what Bud wanted to do about that.

Original Mike said...

"If I wanted to make waves I'd assign it to Joyce and see what Bud wanted to do about that."

That's a great idea. And it has the advantage of being, you know, true.

Bob_R said...

"Technically, an error can't be assigned to either Cabrera or Galarraga since neither muffed the play."

You are missing the logic here.

1. An out could have been made given "ordinary effort" by the two fielders. (As everyone saw.)

2. No out was recorded.

3. Umpires are infallible.

4. Therefore one of the fielders committed an error.

Lem said...

Wasn't the blown call on the field bad enough?
You are missing the logic here.

It seems to me that people who want something done focus on the individual players at the expense of the game.

That temptation must be resisted at all cost.

No one player, no one stat - no matter how "perfect" should be made to even appear to alter or change the integrity of the game.

Look at the case of Pete Rose and his banishment from baseball.

No one in the history of the game has more hits, more plate appearances than charlie hustle.. and yet he is not in the hall of fame.

I wish Rose was in the Hall.. but I also see and can accept the idea that no one is above the game.

Original Mike said...

"to alter or change the integrity of the game."

I'm adopting an argumentative stance just for the fun of it, but this really did make me laugh.

Bob_R said...

Well, that's why the scorers decision to go with a no hitter is the least harmful intervention. Scoring hits and errors is not a part of the game. It is an after the fact commentary on the action on the field. Deciding whether to call something a hit or an error does not change the action on the field in any way. Games would go on just as before if there were no one scoring hits and errors. The game would maintain integrity. Only the sacred stats would be violated. Stats that don't do a good job of reflecting what really happened on the field have no integrity and ought to be changed (e.g. by allowing the scorer to give an error to an ump).

(But then, I'm not a big stats guy. Don't really care about this other than as a good excuse to keep from grading papers. )

Publius the Clown said...

"It was 'possible' for the fielder to get an out. (Look at the replay.) There was no out. Must be an error."

By this logic, every time a runner beats out a throw on a cleanly-fielded ball, the play should be ruled an error instead of an infield hit.

The fact that the replay shows the runner was out doesn't make a difference. It's either an infield hit or an out, depending on the call.

"3. Umpires are infallible."

Given this premise, the runner was safe on an infield hit, and what the replay shows is irrelevant.

Brent said...

I am no Selig fan, but that's for another time.

However, he made the right call here.

Why?

If you sign up to play by the rules, or watch the game by the rules, then why do you complain about and seek to circumvent the rules when it doesn't go the way you like?


I blame illegal aliens. Seriously. The majority of illegal aliens are from a culture that has far less respect for the rule of law - would they be here illegally if that was not true? And that disrespect for the rule of law bleeds into society at large.

Which is another way of saying that instead of working within the law to change the law, our culture will grow in disrespect of the rule of law, until we are like . . . oh hell, will anything really matter at that point anymore?

And i want everyone prosecuted under the law that says no job offers to step aside from a campaign. I don't care if "everyone does it". Throw the book at all of them.

Pete the Streak said...

A few observations:

Regarding Milt Pappas and his 3 straight balls that ended in a walk and the end of his perfect game with 2 out in the ninth, he said following the game that "the pitches were close, but were balls". Now, though, he can't let it go; he feels the ump should have called a strike 'because of the situation'. That's incredibly lame, and an insult to the ump. He's becoming increasingly bitter as time goes on.

Gallaraga will have more fame with this result than with having thrown the 3rd perfecto in a single month. Quick, now: who threw the first one this year?

Joyce will suffer tremendously for this throughout his lifetime, even if not another word is ever written / said / whispered about it. As a former umpire, I assure you that the only things you remember with utmost clarity are the calls you kicked. We are truly our own harshest critic.

I applaud Joyce for calling what he saw, and not compromising based on the situation. I applaud Gallaraga for accepting Joyce's apology with grace.

Truly a remarkable ending to a remarkable game.

Mark said...

Like Lupica, I totally respect the reasoning behind not declaring it a perfect game. I just happen to not agree with the reasoning.

I do agree with Comrade X that even if it never becomes an "official" perfect game, Galarraga's will be one of the best known and most talked about of all time. So there's history in action for you.

And pardon me for being long-winded, but all Galarraga and Joyce have given me renewed faith in grace and honor.

Paddy O said...

"No one player, no one stat - no matter how "perfect" should be made to even appear to alter or change the integrity of the game."

Already done, my friend, already done. The integrity was altered and changed a while back.

Barry Bonds 762
Hank Aaron 755

Also, this list:

Barry Bonds 73 2001
Mark McGwire 70 1998
Sammy Sosa 66 1998
Mark McGwire 65 1999
Sammy Sosa 64 2001
Sammy Sosa 63 1999

Lem said...

@Paddy O

Those guys are not going to sail into the Hall of Fame.. To most baseball fans, they are in the hall of shame.

Kev said...

I assumed Selig didn't have the authority, but if "best-interests-of-the-game" power is what it sounds like it is, he should do it.

Then he should get rid of the designated hitter.


This longtime American League fan says "boo!" to that idea. I, along with a stadium full of people, got to enjoy watching Nolan Ryan pitch at a high level into his mid/late 40s. I can safely say that few of us in there would have wanted to see him bat.

@Lem: Selig hasn't owned the Brewers since he took over the office of commissioner; he transferred his stake to his daughter, and the team was sold to someone outside the family in '04.

Ben said...

He did call the 2002 All-Star game a tie after 11 innings because the teams "ran out" of pitchers, when he could have just let the last two keep pitching until one of them gave up a run (which, if they were so tired that the game needed to be called, presumably would have happened soon).

But he has also refused to undo or asterisk records held by even admitted steroids users. Roger Maris and Hank Aaron were literally cheated out of the most storied records in baseball. So I can see how he thinks that making retroactive changes might open a can of worms -- not just going forward, but with the many injustices that have taken place in the past.

Jeff said...

In the end, baseball is the most goddamned boring excuse for a game ever inflicted on america.

And it's no wonder so many people here are fellating Selig's idiot decision - the only people who can honestly enjoy this "pastime" are autistic man-children obsessed with statistics and arbitrary rules.