FanDuel - WFBC

June 02, 2010

Galarraga robbed of perfect game by blown call on last out.: Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers misses the 21st perfect game in Major League history by one out, as the first base umpire blows the call.

posted by mr_crash_davis to baseball at 08:56 PM - 104 comments

I'm stunned by that call. It wasn't even close. Wow. Even the guys in the Cleveland dugout were shocked by that blown call.

posted by NoMich at 09:05 PM on June 02

Sorry if this is a stupid question but I thought they have replay in baseball or is that just during the playoffs?

posted by govtdrone at 09:10 PM on June 02

That was an atrocious call. If they can, the MLB really should overturn it.

posted by drezdn at 09:13 PM on June 02

Looks out to me.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 09:18 PM on June 02

Watched it live and was utterly appalled. Anything close and you have to ring him. But what a freaking catch at the top of the 9th!

posted by bdaddy at 09:19 PM on June 02

Replay is only for home run and foul balls. Who bets this results in full replay?

posted by bdaddy at 09:21 PM on June 02

What a fucking travesty. A motherfucking travesty.

That was the 21st perfect game in Major League history, Jim Joyce you can go fuck yourself.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:21 PM on June 02

So, is this the first 28-out perfect game?

posted by dirigibleman at 09:23 PM on June 02

That was Don Denkinger like.

And what Y Y M said.

posted by tommytrump at 09:24 PM on June 02

I was sure he thought he bobbled it or missed the bag, but according to leland he says he told him he felt he beat the throw. I don't see how he thought that.

posted by bdaddy at 09:28 PM on June 02

In the ideal world Selig would grant Galarraga his perfect game. Then again, in the ideal world Joyce actually makes that call.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:37 PM on June 02

Oh and another thing, Jim fucking Joyce, Ulysses sucked!

posted by NoMich at 09:44 PM on June 02

Looks out to me.

How 'bout now?

posted by NoMich at 09:46 PM on June 02

I was thinking the same thing as YYM. Just give him the perfect game. He earned it.

If nothing else, he joins Ernie Shore in the list of "unofficial" perfect games.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:51 PM on June 02

A freelance reporter during the interviews afterwards says the umpire admits he blew the call.

posted by grum@work at 10:01 PM on June 02

Calls get blown, and it can be extremely tough as the umpire who has blown the call to reverse yourself.

Why in God's name (and I didn't watch it, so maybe it happened) didn't one of the other umpires walk over to the first-base umpire, pull him aside and give him a chance to take a breath and let the crew say, "Yeah, he was out."

Right is still right if it takes a couple minutes to get there.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:10 PM on June 02

Right is still right if it takes a couple minutes to get there.

Amen to that!!! What a travesty.........and I can't believe it wasn't overturned.

posted by Bozemanite at 10:20 PM on June 02

It's so bizarre on so many levels, not the least being what kind of ump in that situation isn't calling 'Out' unless it's a clear cut safe call? And then to not reverse the call immediately after- that's the ego and pride of umps at work. Just a travesty.

posted by hincandenza at 10:30 PM on June 02

I hope someone spits on that ump, for baseball's sake.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:45 PM on June 02

Oh. My. God.

But really, whats the deal with how easy it is to toss these things now?

I bet Halladay throws another no hitter this year. Calling it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:17 PM on June 02

But really, whats the deal with how easy it is to toss these things now?

It's the balance of random luck.

Remember, the National League went EIGHTY-FOUR YEARS in between perfect games (1880 and 1964).

There have also been separate 13, 14, and 34 year spans between perfect games in either league.

posted by grum@work at 12:57 AM on June 03

Want to know the quickest way to determine that the runner was safe?
Watch Jason Donald's reaction when the umpire calls him safe.
He throws his hands up to his helmet in a "Oh no! What happened?!" reaction.
Donald looks positively sick that the umpire called him safe.

Also, Galarraga was the epitome of class when all this went down.
He didn't bat an eye when the ump called the runner safe.
He didn't complain when it happened and he didn't say anything negative to/about the ump after the game.
He's been robbed of his memorable game, but not of his class.

Also, what a fucking amazing catch by Austin Jackson for the first out of the 9th inning. It was probably a more difficult catch than the one that Wise made in the Buerhle perfecto.

posted by grum@work at 01:08 AM on June 03

Audio of umpire (Jim Joyce) being interviewed after the game.

He sounds absolutely devastated about the mistake. According to reports, Galarraga went and gave Joyce a hug after this interview.

posted by grum@work at 01:20 AM on June 03

Can't believe it wasn't overturned? I saw numerous replays at full speed -- it was a bang-bang play. Looked to me he was safe.

As for considering the situation, Jim Joyce should only be thinking about the play, not the situation. This isn't basketball, where it seems the rulebook gets thrown out on foul-no foul calls in the last two minutes -- unless you foul Kobe or LeBron.

Give credit to Jim Leyland. He took the high road big time with reporters after the game. He said he wasn't sure until the replay; noted Jim Joyce's background; insisted his view against replay. In essence: yeah, the call went against us, but it's a part of baseball -- and it shouldn't be changed.

posted by jjzucal at 01:29 AM on June 03

I think mlb umpiring is atrocious, and getting worse, but because of umpires that are consistently bad and should take up other jobs.

But I feel bad for Joyce. just one mistake at the worst time possible, and there's nothing in place to overturn it.

I saw numerous replays at full speed -- it was a bang-bang play. Looked to me he was safe.

We're watching two different plays. That's not a bang-bang play. The only thought I had was if his foot was on the bag, and that wasn't in question according to the umpire. It's a terrible call, and I think that makes it worse for Joyce.

posted by justgary at 02:03 AM on June 03

what Y Y M said.

I heard that he went and apologized personally to Galarraga, and then to Jim Leyland, but I don't see as how even an emotional apology can make up for something as monumental as this in baseball. It would be like saying "sorry bout that" after you just burned a huge hole in the Mona Lisa.

What a fucking travesty. A motherfucking travesty. It bears repeating.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:35 AM on June 03

Heartbreaking.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:42 AM on June 03

According to reports, Galarraga went and gave Joyce a hug after this interview.

Wow. Good on you, Mr. Galarraga.

posted by NoMich at 06:17 AM on June 03

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, after seeing a replay of the call Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, said of about Joyce, "It happened to the best umpire we have in our game. The best. And a perfect gentleman. Obviously, it was a mistake. It was a perfect game. It's a shame for both of them, for the pitcher and for the umpire. But I'm telling you he is the best baseball has, and a great guy. It's just a shame

posted by gfinsf at 06:24 AM on June 03

In the ideal world Selig would grant Galarraga his perfect game. Then again, in the ideal world Joyce actually makes that call.

Also, in the ideal world the commissioner wouldn't be Selig but...well, anybody else.

posted by Motown Mike at 07:39 AM on June 03

Just heard Galarraga's comments on Sportscenter. He was very, very classy about it. Seemed like an incredibly nice guy.

posted by Uncle Toby at 08:11 AM on June 03

Is it within baseball rules for Donald to say 'nah, the throw beat me' and let Joyce undo the mistake?

posted by kokaku at 09:00 AM on June 03

But I feel bad for Joyce. just one mistake at the worst time possible ...

Thanks to the timing, is this the worst call in the history of baseball?

posted by rcade at 09:36 AM on June 03

We're watching two different plays. That's not a bang-bang play?

we MUST be watching 2 different plays, because that's the definition of a bang-bang play. No one knew it was wrong until replay. Leland even admitted the same, saying he couldn't tell (that's why he didn't argue so hard initially). Did you hear the live announcers commenting during the game? They didn't start the "Oh my God's" until the slow-mo replay. One of them didn't start it until the SECOND slow-mo replay at a different angle. Reynolds in the studio wasn't convinced it was an out until the 3rd or 4th replay.

At full speed NO ONE knew it was an out. Many were screaming that it was close enough that it should have been called out, but certainly wasn't blatantly out.

posted by bdaddy at 10:15 AM on June 03

Thanks to the timing, is this the worst call in the history of baseball?

I still say there's some missed WS calls that take this claim due to their overall seasonal importance.

posted by bdaddy at 10:17 AM on June 03

Selig allowed a tie in the all-star game. What makes you think he has the stones to overturn this?

posted by MeatSaber at 11:08 AM on June 03

Thanks to the timing, is this the worst call in the history of baseball?

No. Not even close.

posted by grum@work at 11:43 AM on June 03

No one knew it was wrong until replay.

The runner knew it was wrong.

posted by grum@work at 11:44 AM on June 03

Just saw an AP story that supposedly MLB has the power to reverse the call and may do so. This would really be touching a live wire I don't think they want to touch ... full replay, anyone?

I'm just upset I don't have him on any of my fantasy teams.

posted by jjzucal at 11:47 AM on June 03

Thanks to the timing, is this the worst call in the history of baseball?

Not as long as Don Denkinger lives.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:58 AM on June 03

No. Not even close.

Or this one: Triple Play in Game 3 of the 1992 World Series

posted by tommytrump at 11:59 AM on June 03

Do we really want the commissioner's office overturning umpires' judgement calls ?

posted by tommytrump at 12:01 PM on June 03

Karsch and Anderson just replayed audio of Jim Joyce this morning, and the guy is devastated. You can hear it here. People are going after this guy's family, apparently, and that's just too far...

posted by MeatSaber at 12:02 PM on June 03

Did you hear the live announcers commenting during the game? They didn't start the "Oh my God's" until the slow-mo replay.

Did you watch the game? The announcers called him out as soon as the throw got to Galarraga and then were astounded that Joyce called the runner safe.

Do we really want the commissioner's office overturning umpires' judgement calls ?

Yes.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:20 PM on June 03

I'm a Tigers fan and I don't see how anyone can be calling for bad things to befall Joyce or his family. The man made a mistake, admitted it, and apologized, all very sincerely. How can you hate on him in the face of his very real contrition?

posted by apoch at 12:28 PM on June 03

Yes.

Just Safe/Out calls?

Balls?

Strikes?

Balks?

Only on 27th outs in games that would otherwise be perfect games ?

Where does it start, where does it end ?

posted by tommytrump at 12:33 PM on June 03

How bout MLB allow for each team to make one or two challenges per game, a la the NFL. That way the games wouldn't be slowed by instant replay (the primary reason they wouldn't institute such a policy - esp in an era where game length is talked about as much as it has been this season), but each team would have the opportunity to correct a bad call or two, thereby also reducing the number of ridiculous screaming matches between the umps and managers (not that guys like Lou Piniella wouldn't do it anyway)..

posted by MW12 at 12:43 PM on June 03

While MLB headquarters goes into review mode, the Michigan governor has issued a proclamation declaring that Galarraga pitched a perfect game.

Not that that is going to have any bearing on the situation.

Denkinger eventually had to get the FBI involved in his personal security (years after the 85 Series was over), and that was well before the internet era. These things don't go away quickly or easily.

posted by beaverboard at 12:46 PM on June 03

As someone under beaverboard's article commented, if Granholm has such powers, why doesn't she just declare the recession over...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:05 PM on June 03

While MLB headquarters goes into review mode, the Michigan governor has issued a proclamation declaring that Galarraga pitched a perfect game.

That is the best thing she has done in seven years as governor.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:06 PM on June 03

This was a terrible call, but the aftermath was a nice demonstration of character by both Galarraga and Joyce.

Do we really want the commissioner's office overturning umpires' judgement calls ?

I don't think so. It's in the books. Umpires are human. Blown calls are a part of the game.

Still, though. I can't believe this happened.

Galarraga knows he threw a perfect game. It may not be recognized officially, but the video replay and Joyce's immediate admission of a bad call put it beyond dispute. Joyce, unfortunately, will always know he robbed a pitcher of a perfect game. That will be a kick-in-the-nuts to his career legacy for as long as he's alive.

posted by rcade at 01:15 PM on June 03

Joyce is behind the plate in today's game. Thought MLB might hold him out. Surprising. He made one of the worst calls at one of the worst moments of his career. Just another ump wanting to be in the spotlight. Him being there today proves it. Jim Joyce Sucks!

posted by mrk124 at 01:16 PM on June 03

He made one of the worst calls at one of the worst moments of his career. Just another ump wanting to be in the spotlight.

By most accounts Joyce is a great umpire. Your theory makes no sense to me. An ump who calls a player safe to break a perfect game is not put in a positive spotlight, even if he's right. Joyce had nothing to gain and everything to lose by making the call he did. I think the easiest explanation is that he thought the guy was safe and doesn't let his judgment be swayed by the moment. That's a positive trait for an ump.

posted by rcade at 01:20 PM on June 03

Hey everyone, no worries. The Governor of Michigan is going to make it all better.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 01:32 PM on June 03

lawn_wrangler...welcome to 6 comments ago...

Know what's gotten lost in all this? There have been 3 perfect games thrown in, what, 6 weeks? What the hell's going on with pitchers this year?

posted by MeatSaber at 01:39 PM on June 03

MeatSaber...welcome to 25 comments ago:

But really, whats the deal with how easy it is to toss these things now?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 01:43 PM on June 03

While MLB headquarters goes into review mode, the Michigan governor has issued a proclamation declaring that Galarraga pitched a perfect game.

In other news, Lamar McKay,BP of America president, has declared there was no explosion on the rig, and the pipe is not spewing oil.

posted by tommytrump at 01:45 PM on June 03

There have been 3 perfect games thrown in, what, 6 weeks?

Two perfect games, and last night, a 1 hitter.

posted by tommytrump at 01:46 PM on June 03

Joyce is behind the plate in today's game. Thought MLB might hold him out.

They gave him the opportunity to not ump today's game but he insisted.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:46 PM on June 03

My point exactly...one comment in 60? That's the definition of getting lost in the shuffle...

tommytrump, Jennifer Granholm declared it a perfect game. You can't rescind that...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:59 PM on June 03

Joyce wipes away tears as he takes field : Joyce and Armando Galarraga met at home plate Thursday afternoon as the pitcher presented the umpire with the Tigers' lineup card. Joyce shook hands with Galarraga and patted him on the shoulder.

posted by tommytrump at 02:06 PM on June 03

I don't think that MLB should be going back and declaring it a perfect game. Officially there was one hit, a runner reached base, that is the end of the conversation. The pitcher recorded the final out, his team earned a shut out and the sun rose the next morning, the world continues to spin.

For the people who are saying that it was a 28 out perfect game, are you also going to recognize people like Andy Hawkins or Matt Young who threw 8 inning no-hitters but lost? What about Pedro Martinez who retired the first 27 batters only to give up a hit in the 10th? Do you give these guys credit for their accomplishments which would be in the record books if not for the activities of other people on the field?

It is a shame to see this happen, but I give credit to both Galarraga and Joyce for the way in which they have handled themselves in this media storm. Both should be commended

posted by Demophon at 02:10 PM on June 03

I'm with you MW12. Give each coach two challenges per game. It won't slow down the game too much and incidents like this will never happen again...unless of course they blow three calls in one game.

posted by Shotput at 02:16 PM on June 03

There's a huge difference between giving up a legitimate hit in the last inning, and the ump blowing a call...

posted by MeatSaber at 02:18 PM on June 03

There's a huge difference between giving up a legitimate hit in the last inning, and the ump blowing a call...

What if it had been the other way around and he was called out on a play where he was obviously safe. Would you be calling for the perfect game to be rescinded?

What about a guy who has a perfect game through 26 batters but doesn't get a looked third strike call? Should we seek out video to double check the call on the 3-2 pitch that Milt Pappas threw to Larry Stahl in 1972? What about the 1-2 pitch to George McQuillan from Hooks Wiltse? In that case the ump said he should have called it a strike, only to have Wiltse drill McQuillan with the 2-2 pitch and ruin the perfect game.

If you make this change then you need to recognize Pappas and Wiltse so Galarraga has actually thrown the 23rd Perfect Game of all time.

posted by Demophon at 02:32 PM on June 03

IF you can show definitively that those are strikes, then absolutely those games should be perfect games. But are there definite parameters laid out by MLB what is a ball and what is a strike? Or is it completely on the discretion of the home plate ump?That means a lot towards allowing those games as opposed to this game. The runner was, on replay, clearly out. There is no wiggle room for the ump like there is on ball/strike calls...

posted by MeatSaber at 02:42 PM on June 03

The runner was, on replay, clearly out

The key there is on replay. Replay is not a part of the game on that call as there are definite parameters laid out by MLB on what can and can not be reviewed. On initial watching of the play I had no issue with the call if it went either way. It had to be slowed down significantly before you could tell for sure.

posted by Demophon at 03:04 PM on June 03

Just saw Bud Selig will not reverse the call -- the correct move; you do not want to set precedence here.

Screw the replays or we'll be looking at every double play involving second base (the "in the vicinity" call).

While we're on the subject of history, don't forget Harvey Haddix. 12 perfect innings against Milwaukee on 5/26/59; Pittsburgh loses in 13th on error, intentional walk to Aaron, then Haddix allows RBI double to Joe Adcock.

posted by jjzucal at 03:32 PM on June 03

To further what Demophon said - here's a thought experiment - what if that same play happens in the first or second inning and that turns out to be the only Cleveland hit in the game? Would the level of outrage be the same or is it amplified by it being the final out?

posted by kokaku at 03:44 PM on June 03

Why isn't anyone complaining about the real villain here, the Law of Averages? He clearly clouded Joyce's mind to prevent another perfecto in such short order.

posted by yerfatma at 03:50 PM on June 03

Why isn't anyone complaining about the real villain here, the Law of Averages? He clearly clouded Joyce's mind to prevent another perfecto in such short order.

Yeah, fuck that Law of Averages guy. He's always fucking up my shit.

posted by apoch at 04:08 PM on June 03

Fatty's right. If there are going to be three perfectos and a no-no in the first six weeks of the season, the Law of Averages has to step in. Otherwise, inevitable world wide chaos... It's in Revelations, people!

What a class reaction on the part of the individuals involved. Joyce immediately and publicly admits his fault, and Galaragga immediately accepts the apology and forgives him. In fact - never even seems to take it badly at all. He still pitched a great game. So did Pappas when he was robbed. Too much emphasis on the numbers instead of the achievement. But no - it won't go down as perfect. That's ok. Tigers fans will never forget it - and isn't that the point, anyway?

We should have replay in baseball. Can't do balls and strikes. Possibly could do everything else though, within some heretofore as yet unknown structure.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:23 PM on June 03

Why isn't anyone complaining about the real villain here, the Law of Averages?

Is that the law that says that average pitchers can't throw perfect games? Tom Browning disproved that law over twenty years ago.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:26 PM on June 03

Would the level of outrage be the same or is it amplified by it being the final out?

Amplified by the final out. In other cases you can make an argument that the game could have progressed completely differently if the player was called out. Maybe the pressure gets to the pitcher, the fielders, ect. In this case, if the call is made the game ends. It's done. Perfect game number 21.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:32 PM on June 03

Class act by both Galaragga and Joyce! I don't think two people could handle the situation better if they had time to script it out.

I would have been all for Selig reversing the call. I get precedent and all, but really, what precedent would he be setting? If the ump clearly blows the last play of a perfect game and the ump immediately (well, almost immediately) realizes it, how often is that coming to come up? Can anyone name even one time? It's not the same as a blown play earlier in the game as YYM pointed out. They revise scoring after the game to change errors to hits frequently, and that's all this is...except of course the error was on the 1st base umpire.

All for replay being expanded, and like the idea that MW12 threw out, very limited number of challenges, and only on specific plays. No one really wants replays on ball/strike calls, and if we limit it to 2 challenges, it won't affect game times.

posted by dviking at 05:00 PM on June 03

This is what so many people claim they love about baseball: The human element. Calls are blown and missed all the time. A perfect game was ruined, but that's the way it goes.

That being said, I can't believe Joyce would even consider making a safe call under those circumstances. If it was close, make the "out" call in that situation.

posted by dyams at 05:33 PM on June 03

Tigers fans will never forget it - and isn't that the point, anyway?

Throwing a perfect game gives you a measure of baseball immortality. Being robbed of a perfect game by one of the worst calls of all time may give you more. My wife hates sports1, and yet she asked me about Galarraga this morning and had a strong opinion on the controversy.

People are calling this the Imperfect Game!

1. Yes, I know. I should have done better prescreening.

posted by rcade at 05:41 PM on June 03

Maybe it's time to bring the asterisk back to baseball records. I remember as a kid the World Almanac listing Ernie Shore's relief of Babe Ruth as a perfect game with an asterisk since all 27 outs were recorded while he was pitching. Now it's just a no-hitter.

posted by graymatters at 06:19 PM on June 03

That being said, I can't believe Joyce would even consider making a safe call under those circumstances. If it was close, make the "out" call in that situation.

You know, I beg to differ on this one. I think Joyce was looking at the play as a single play, not "This could make or break this kid's perfect game if I screw this call up." And that's the kind of umpire you want out there, not someone who's trying to be mindful of statistics or perfect games or whatever, but one who's watching the play happening right now. Don't think about the aftereffects of your call -- think about the play as it's happening, in the moment. They shouldn't be thinking about anything else.

Hope Jim Joyce can move on from this. Sad that it had to happen at all, but I'm glad it happened to an established, respected ump with lots of years in the field and not some rook who's new to the game, cos that would be the literal end of his career.... if not worse.

posted by evixir at 06:46 PM on June 03

As an ex umpire (high school level), I have a few observations. First, the ball was hit between the normal positions of the first- and second-baseman. The first-baseman went after the ground ball, and this kept Jim Joyce from getting more than a step inside the foul line and more than a step toward first. This left him in a position that was not ideal for making the call, but is the normal position to be in when the ball is hit where that one was. The idea is to avoid getting in the way of the pitcher covering first base or the second-baseman coming toward first. Second, while the play was not a "banger", Gallaraga, covering at first, did not catch the ball cleanly but had a "snow cone" with the ball barely in his webbing. To an umpire, this makes it very difficult to determine control when making a call.

Jim Joyce said that until he saw the replay he was absolutely sure that he had made the correct call. The only thing I think he should have done, and this is not without precedent, would have been to go to the other umpires and make sure they had not seen anything he hadn't. On replay you can see the plate umpire drag down the line behind the batter-runner. His job here is to watch the foot of the fielder at first. I notice that the plate umpire is a step into foul territory which wouldn't have given him an ideal view of the ball in the glove. Perhaps the best view would have been that of the umpire at second. He began to run in from short center field to cross the base line on the first base side of second. His angle at the moment the throw hit the glove would have been perfect to make the call. In the 2-umpire system, you often get a similar angle when you are working inside, especially with a runner on second and you are on the third base side of the mound. Jim Joyce is one of the better umpires in the game, and if Jim Leyland had reminded him of the situation and asked if he could get another opinion, I think he might have.

Despite the notoriety this call will receive, it is not an excuse to bring replay any further into the game. It is a game played by human beings and officiated by human beings. Bad calls are a part of it and should remain so. An old-time umpire once said that umpiring was the only profession in which you were expected to be perfect on your first day at work and to improve every day thereafter. It's a tough job at any level, and replay makes it a lot tougher. The only suggestion I would have to improve the quality of officiating in MLB would be to have real means of demoting those umpires who are substandard.

posted by Howard_T at 06:49 PM on June 03

"That being said, I can't believe Joyce would even consider making a safe call under those circumstances. If it was close, make the "out" call in that situation."

But if he's doing his job correctly, the chance of a perfect game should not enter Joyce's mind -- just the play. It may not have been perfect, but he did his job and judging by watching replay after replay at full speed, it's close enough to be a "safe call." It's only on slow-mo or photos that one can tell Galarraga reached the bag first.

BTW, unless it's a call is blatantly wrong or the umpire asks for help (ask in check swings), his partners are not to get involved in the decision.

posted by jjzucal at 06:53 PM on June 03

bdaddy:

we MUST be watching 2 different plays, because that's the definition of a bang-bang play.

Then we'll have to disagree on the definition of the term. You ever see a play where the ball seems to get there at the same time as the runner? And they show the play in slow motion from several different angles, and only after the perfect angle can they tell if the call was correct? And even then there might be disagreement? THAT to me is a 'bang-bang play'. Not when the runner is out by a half step.

I mean, you can call anything you want a bang-bang play. Out by a half step? Bang-bang play? Why not a whole step? But I think using your parameters renders the word useless. You're taking a close play, which is what that was, and calling it something else. That was a close call. There's a big difference in my opinion.

No one knew it was wrong until replay.

You're wrong. I thought it was a clear out. I think you'll find others that feel that way also. Don't trust fans? Look at the pitcher and first baseman the second after the play. They don't look mad, they look unbelieving. The look incredulous; not sure if that just happened.

Leland even admitted the same, saying he couldn't tell (that's why he didn't argue so hard initially).

A manager would have a terrible view of that call. Leland would be towards the home plate side of a sunken in dugout. Of course he didn't have a good view. Millions watching on TV had a better view.

Did you hear the live announcers commenting during the game?

Yes. The announcer immediately and emphatically yelled "out!".

At full speed NO ONE knew it was an out.

I would say most people with a good view knew he was out.

but certainly wasn't blatantly out.

Sure he was. Blatantly, completely, without question, easily, out.

I think posnanski makes sense:

The play wasn't even that close... Live, full speed, Donald was out. He looked out enough that the Tigers television announcer shouted "He's out!" He looked out enough that it seemed, for just a nanosecond, like Joyce was about to punch him out, end the game, set off the perfect game celebration. He looked out enough that when Joyce spread out his arms in the safe call, it was so unexpected that the overpowering thought, was, "Wait. Safe? What? Did Galarraga miss the bag? Did the television camera have a bad angle? Was he bobbling the ball? Did an umpire just call that guy safe one out to go in a perfect game?"

That's what I heard in the Tiger announcer's voice. And that's exactly what went through my head. He looked out. I was sure he was out. Maybe he bobbled the ball? Maybe his foot wasn't on the base? And then the replay confirmed what was completely obvious. It was a terribly missed call; so missed that I thought I must have missed something. And I think that's what I hear in the Tigers announcer's voice (after he did indeed call the runner out), the thought that 'wait, did I miss something?". But of course, he didn't.

The key there is on replay. Replay is not a part of the game on that call as there are definite parameters laid out by MLB on what can and can not be reviewed. On initial watching of the play I had no issue with the call if it went either way. It had to be slowed down significantly before you could tell for sure. posted by Demophon

No, the key here is that you're using what it took for you to see it was a blown call with what the umpire had to use (I'm ignoring that obviously I think you're wrong, that it was completely obvious from my couch without replay).

The umpire did not need replay. He had the absolute best seat in the house. He's highly trained and supposedly one of the best umps in the game. That was a close play that he gets 99.9 percent of the time I'm sure. The fact that you believe it took a slow motion replay for you to judge the call has nothing to do with a a trained umpire in perfect position 10 feet from the play blowing the call.

I feel for Joyce, and I think it's great how everything has been handled since the call, but I don't understand this spin that it was a super close play that only through the magic of replay could it really be called. That's BS. He was clearly out on a play that is called correctly the vast majority of the time, and should be by any competent ump. It was a terrible call. I doubt Joyce would disagree.

It's only on slow-mo or photos that one can tell Galarraga reached the bag first.

Wow, again, where does this come from? Joyce will get this play correct for the next 100 times. A half step is not a play an umpire should miss. Again, the announcers, the first baseman, the pitcher, they knew. No need for slow-mo or photos. If umpires couldn't call plays this obvious they'd be completely hopeless for actual bang-bang plays (and they get most of those correct also... and without slo-mo or pictures).

did not catch the ball cleanly but had a "snow cone" with the ball barely in his webbing. To an umpire, this makes it very difficult to determine control when making a call.

I agree with this. Strangely Joyce hasn't mentioned it, and I'm sure he noticed it on the replays. So either he doesn't believe it had anything to do with his blown call, or he knows he still should have made the correct call and doesn't want to appear to be making an excuse.

posted by justgary at 07:01 PM on June 03

Keith Olbermann just had Bud Selig as his only "Worst Person in the World" for tonight.

posted by jjzucal at 08:49 PM on June 03

Nobody, or nothing, much less a "perfect games", is perfect. The fact that Galarraga is OK with it is good enough for me. Play Ball!

It's just Baseball, no matter how much we think it matters, it doesn't matter at all compared to whats going on in the Gulf or elsewhere. Hopefully, it will be made right somehow, someway, for all involved. Which as I see it, are only Joyce and Galarraga. Bottom line: nobody's perfect. Although I didn't think the call was that tough at first glance, either.

Keith Olbermann just had Bud Selig as his only "Worst Person in the World"

Keith should feature himself as "Worst Person in the World" once in a while...

posted by mjkredliner at 09:13 PM on June 03

This is what so many people claim they love about baseball: The human element. Calls are blown and missed all the time. A perfect game was ruined, but that's the way it goes.

People love the human element until a blown call goes against them. I'd rather lose a game one hundred times than have it stolen by a blown call.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:55 PM on June 03

Baseball is just like life. Probably why we like it so much. You can do everything perfect and things can still go wrong. To me the big story is the character of Galarraga and Joyce. Both men are on the top of my list for how I want my kids to grow up. If I were God (which of course i'm not) I'd be smiling from ear to ear.

The standing O that Joyce got tonight causes me to believe that Tiger fans saw the big picture.

posted by rollfastbyu at 12:33 AM on June 04

Not to be forgotten also is that baseball is still a team game. Major League Baseball can't start getting into the habit of changing the way things play out just to look out for a player's personal accomplishment. Yes, I know, the rest of the team had something to do with the perfect game also, but Galarraga is the one who would have been credited with the perfect game. Bad, or missed calls are made all the time. I don't want to see every part of games have to be looked at, because people are already crying about baseball games being too long.

And the way perfect (or near perfect) games are coming lately, they may turn out to be a not-so-rare feat.

posted by dyams at 03:44 PM on June 04

This is what so many people claim they love about baseball: The human element.

Not me. I fully endorse robot umpires, even if it moves up the impending Robot Revolution by a couple years.

The aftermath of this made me more sad than riled up about the call. As has been said above, both Joyce and Galarraga have been class acts and it seems like this happened to the nicest people out there. Ideally he gets the call right. If it has to happen it would have been better if it was Angel Hernandez or Joe West blowing the call and breaking up Dallas Braden's perfect game. That would really let me get worked up about the call and still be somewhat satisfied with the result. Oh, and Ozzie Guillen as manager, just for the fireworks.

posted by tron7 at 04:13 PM on June 04

Just wondering: Would all the people who say that the out call should be changed to safe because of the mistake say the same thing in reverse? In other words, if the umpire made an out call but replays showed the runner was safe would they want the call changed to take away a perfect game.

posted by graymatters at 04:29 PM on June 04

In tron's robot revolution scenario, that would happen gray.

People don't really want that. It's a bigger change than most anticipate, I think.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:19 PM on June 04

I think the out-call that was actually safe has happened in the past, but it's also about what you can undo. If the safe call is now overruled, you simply negate the plays that happened after it and nothing changes- no butterfly effect. Undoing an out call where they were safe is impossible: you can't go back to that pitcher and situation and the next at-bat because of all the things that could have unfolded differently with a different baserunner situation, out count, etc. That's what makes this so unique: it was the last out of the perfect game. Ruling it an out, and making it correctly called a perfect game, simply negates the one at-bat afterwards. One batter has a point or two deducated from his average, one batter has a point or two added, and a couple of fielders get their fielding stats altered slightly. It's about as clean a re-write of history as could possibly happen in baseball because nothing changes except a couple of player's stats, and the existence of this perfect game as an official event.

That's again what was so off-putting; it wasn't really that close a play, and you'd expect the ump to call "out" unless there was overwhelming evidence in his eyes that the the runner beat the throw- which there wasn't. Replays I saw even show his eyes weren't on the base till the last second, as he was watching Cabrera field the ball. And why not even ask the other umpires "Did I just blow that call?" I don't care how 'classy' Joyce was after seeing the replay, I care that he immediately barked at Leyland when he 'dared' to walk on the field- typical umpire ego, "How dare you challenge mah authoritah!". He fucked up that kid's moment of history, he refused to even consider an on-the-field consideration, he barked at Leyland for coming out of the dugout at all... he's a putz putting a silky sheen on being a royal screwup and a jerk about it at the time. As someone on metafilter put it, it's like spilling your soda over the Mona Lisa and then saying "Whoops... hey I feel really bad!".

I'm sad that Selig won't consider changing this after the fact; it's happened before, it's so specific a case that it's not a precedent threat, and hey they took away Pedro's perfect game along with Haddix's years later. Why can't they declare this a perfect game? He's the Commissioner, he has the authority, and it would be the right thing to do in every way. No one loses, everyone wins, except losers who think injustice and unfairness are something to embrace as the "human element" (except when it happens to them, of course).

posted by hincandenza at 06:16 PM on June 04

Well what would be wrong if an umpire wanted to review the video. Not instant reply when ever an opposing manager complained, but if the ump making a call had some doubts shouldn't he be the one to call for a replay view and then either stand by or reverse his own call.

In this case if MLB just allowed the ump to get a second look and correct his own call all of this could have been avoided. I hardly believe umps would object to having an option to get a second look at very important, very close calls before they are finalized.

posted by Atheist at 06:29 PM on June 04

Bud should reverse the call, if for no other reason than to show umps that he can, and will, reverse a call.

With the human element argument, Bud is backing the idea that blown calls are human errors, simple mistakes.

But if you have "human," you have good AND bad. What if an ump makes a bad call because he wants to screw some pitcher. Knowing that the commissioner will not reverse his call because of the human element, he just explains "Oops, made a bad call."

Maybe in such a scenario, MLB will relegate the ump to the minors. But that does not help the pitcher that was screwed. Only Bud can help. And under his human element theory, he will not.

posted by roberts at 06:40 PM on June 04

Don Denkinger's take.

posted by BoKnows at 07:30 PM on June 04

I have to give the credit to this Brit. He says it so eloquently. Sports in the U.S. has become a pissing contest.

Davidbiz June 4, 2010 12:44 am

As a Brit, can someone explain this ridiculously bizarre thinking behind this game? If someone, an Umpire, Referee, whateveris found to have made an incorrect call, why in God's name does the Commissioner of Baseball risk the complete and utter destruction of all credibility in a sport, by refusing to correct a terrible injustice? Our entire civilized social system is based on guaranteeing justiceso how come this egotistical Selig chap thinks he's above all that and therefore manages to bring about this absurd farce of an uproar where a simple correction of a wrong, would quieten everything down and bring the game back into a semblance of repute!? Selig.get over yourself and put the game you're charged with promoting and protecting, above your own ego for once! The guy pitched a perfect gamewhether you like it or not! Oh by the waythe world is flat! Wellthere's as much truth to that statement as there is to the assertion that the runner was safe!!!!

posted by scuubie at 07:54 PM on June 04

I also think an investigation should be done on this umpires personal finances. There is a slight chance he did this on purpose. Gambling or Mob ties. You never know, and should rule it out.

posted by scuubie at 07:58 PM on June 04

why in God's name does the Commissioner of Baseball risk the complete and utter destruction of all credibility in a sport, by refusing to correct a terrible injustice?

Why is Ireland not in the World Cup?

posted by tselson at 08:09 PM on June 04

You know after watching the replay again, I think the fact that the ball was kind of "webbed" had a lot to do with the call. As an umpire you are supposed to watch the bag and listen for the ball. It appears Joyce is pretty damned focused on the bag. He may have just simply not heard the ball being caught.

posted by tselson at 08:24 PM on June 04

Why is Ireland not in the World Cup?

Check, and Mate.

And furthermore, hahahahahhahahh

posted by tahoemoj at 10:53 PM on June 04

My question for Selig is this: Why have the power to over-rule such a play if youi're not going to use it in this scenario?

It's the classic opportunity to change a bad call. As pointed out by others, since it was the last out, or should have been, it's a clean break. Nothing that comes after the play should have occured, so just wipe that last batter out of the book.

All for replay if it avoids a similar circumstance.

posted by dviking at 11:08 PM on June 04

My question for Selig is this: Why have the power to over-rule such a play if youi're not going to use it in this scenario?

Just because he might have the power, doesn't mean he should do it. It's a slippery slope that the league doesn't want to go down. MLB can/should overrule misinterpretation of the rules (pine-tar incident), but should not overrule judgment calls (like this one).

Otherwise, you end up with every team making appeals at the end of the game for plays that don't go their way, simply because the umpire didn't make the decision you wanted.

posted by grum@work at 01:42 AM on June 05

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