Galarragas Wake

>> Thursday, June 03, 2010

As commenters have pointed out, fairness demands that it be noted that Jim Joyce may have screwed up what would have been a profitable future career as a Republican elected official or BP executive by admitting his egregious error. And given this it would probably better to emulate Galarraga's remarkable class and grace under pressure.

But since I'm not as good a person as Galarraga, I should explain why I don't buy the argument that since it didn't cost the Tigers the game it wasn't that big a deal. I think this actually stands the truth on its head. While I'm free about criticizing inept umpiring, I try to never claim that umps cost the team a game, because it's almost always more complicated than that. Cuzzi's foul call in the ALDS last year was at least as bad as Joyce's, but it was a pretty minor factor in the Twins loss; Cuzzi didn't tell Joe Nathan to throw a cookie to Slappy Rodriguez, he wasn't hitting when the Twins went on to parlay the bases loaded with none out into zero runs, and given the same sequence of events the Twins would have been huge underdogs, tied against a better team on the road. Same thing with Denkinger; it was a bad call, if not quite was bad as Joyce/Cuzzi, but the Cardinals still had every chance to win after it, and Denkinger wasn't hitting or pitching when the Cardinals went on to be outscored 13-0. The endless whining by the Cardinals and their fans is not merely problematic but unseemly, excuse making by a team that lost and deserved to lose. And as much as it pains me to admit it, the same goes for the Seahawks' Super Bowl loss. If Holmgren spent less time complaining about the officiating and more time on his two minute drill they might have won.

What was unusual about the Joyce call was that it really was an if-not-then call in which the athletes in question were blameless. Which, combined with the fact that it wasn't close but was a call a major league umpire should never get wrong, makes it hard to forgive. And while a perfect game might be an "arbitrary" accomplishment, well, Dennis Martinez in 1991 and Pedro's 27 outs-with-no-support in San Diego in 1995 are two of my most ten most vividly remembered regular season games as a fan, and I don't think I'm unusual.


Matt 8:02 AM  

I thought this was the better commentary on the subject:

rea,  8:43 AM  

"I thought this was the better commentary"

Not really. Neyer's premise is that it was a difficult call, due to the angles, but (to his credit) Joyce told the Detroit Free Press "I had a great angle on it . . . I just missed the damn call."

Benjamin,  9:06 AM  

There's also a big difference between screwing up the final out and screwing up any of the previous outs. If you blow a call on an earlier out, even at the beginning of the 9th inning, there's no way to say for certain what may or may not have happened afterwards if the call had gone differently. Maybe everything would have unfolded the same, or maybe not.

That isn't true with the 27th out, since if you'd gotten that right then there wouldn't have been an afterwards. You know with 100% certainty what the outcome would and should have been.

howard,  1:31 PM  

who knows - it could be a function of being an oldtimer - but i think of harvey haddix's epic as more of an historic standout than any of the actual perfect games other than larson's, and i suspect this one will join haddix and galarragas' effort will live on in historic memory much more than "who the hell was the third guy to throw a perfect game that one weird season?"

but let's see if anyone other than me even remembers harvey haddix!

Michael 8:00 PM  

I think the case for overturning the call is airtight and the case against is nonexistent. Even if they weren't about to go to replay as a result. This is what the concept of the "one-time exception," even to an absolute policy, was invented for. There could be absolutely no more clear-cut a case. The fact that the game's result doesn't hang on the decision is greater reason to correct the call, not reason not to. If they adopt review as a result of this without correcting the call, it would be a grotesque injustice to Galarraga. Because if they do that, that destroys the argument from the future effects of bad precedent case against correction. Any call with remotely similar stakes that is nearly as close as this will be reviewed and gotten right in the future. Not to extend that to Galarraga would be indefensible.

Post a Comment

About This Blog

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP