The Blown Call Seen Round the World

Jim Joyce just became famous:

Armando Galarraga came within one out of a perfect game Wednesday night, deprived of the milestone on a call the first base umpire says he got wrong.

The 28-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, making his third start of the season, beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 and lost the bid when umpire Jim Joyce ruled Jason Donald safe on an infield hit. Galarraga received a throw from first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who had fielded Donald’s grounder between first and second.

(Click here for video of the controversial call)

Tigers players and manager Jim Leyland angrily berated Joyce after Trevor Crowe made the final out, claiming replays showed Donald did not beat the throw.

Minutes after the game, however, Leyland and Galarraga both said they believed no one felt worse about the call than Joyce.

Fortunately for me, the Pittsburgh Pirates have spent the previous two decades sucking any and all interest in baseball right out of me, so I have no really strong opinions about the matter. I know a bunch of you still care, though. At least those of you who live in NY and Boston and have actual teams.






98 replies
  1. 1
    Crashman says:

    Joe Posnanski had a great post up about this. The ump realized he blew the call and was devastated. The kid, apparently, was the picture of grace and class.

  2. 2
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    At least those of you who live in NY and Boston and have actual teams.

    And Minnesota.

    Jim Joyce is one of the best umpires around, and, inexplicably, blew perhaps his most important.

    It seems this one could be reversed without damage to the actual play of the game, since the correct call would have ended it. I don’t think there’s a precedent for that, though.

  3. 3
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Boy am I looking forward to have a day full of analysis about Umpires and blown calls and baseball in general from the MSM. If we’re really lucky, NPR will do a whole Hour on Talk of the Nation about it!

  4. 4
    geg6 says:

    Meh. Baseball sucks.

    Baseball, as currently structured, is a blown call. As a Pittsburgher, I know I’ll never watch another MLB game.

    Heckuva job, Buddy!

  5. 5
    mcd410x says:

    Uh, and St. Petersburg. Four-run ninth on Tuesday, six-run ninth last night.

    See Rays, Tampa Bay.

  6. 6
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    I don’t think there’s a precedent for that, though.

    Time to set the precedent. It was a perfect game. End of story.

    Now, as a lifelong Oriole fan, I can go back to ignoring baseball for the next decade.

  7. 7
    mazzy says:

    All credit to Galarraga, for dealing with this with class and dignity. As far as I’m concerned, he had a 28-out perfect game

    This revives issues of instant replay in baseball: should its use be expanded? That question aside, Austin Jackson’s catch in the outfield in the 9th was friggin’ amazing.

    As a Detroit fan, I think that Selig should reverse the call. I know it opens a Pandora’s Box, but it’s the right thing to do.

  8. 8
    pharniel says:

    I think the fans are taking it well too.
    I mean, it’s detroit. It’s not like we don’t have whole afternoons to kill while waiting out funemployment.

  9. 9
    Mike E says:

    Go watch Ken Burns, sourpusses! Baseball is everything that’s great/infuriating about America.

    I especially treasure this one aspect about Galarraga’s gem — that he clearly understands what a charmed life he leads, to toe the rubber every 5 days to hurl a little leather ball and make an un-Godly amount of money to do something he obviously loves. He just earned another fan (and a spiteful Philly fan to boot). I’ll gladly take a bad day at the ballpark over a good one on some blog!

  10. 10
    Seitz says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    It was a perfect game. End of story.

    Which is exactly why it doesn’t need to be overturned. There’s no controversy here. Whenever anyone thinks of Armando Galarraga and this game, everyone will know it was a perfect game (actually more impressive, as he had to get 28 guys out). So if I know it, and you know it, and Galarraga and Joyce know it, and everyone else knows it, why do we need a scoresheet to tell us?

    He’ll arguably be more famous. If the game was an official perfect game, he’d be one of 21. As of now, he’s one of one. Whenever they talk about how many perfect games there have been in baseball history, they’ll say there have been 20, and one by Armando Galarraga that got taken away.

  11. 11
    BenA says:

    @geg6:
    I really feel for Pittsburgh fans… more than a lot of markets, because they were a franchise with a rich history. A now have a gorgeous stadium, that’s empty, all the time.

    That being said there’s no way Pittsburgh should be anywhere near as bad as they are. There are a half dozen teams that are nearly the same size as Pittsburgh that field competative teams year in and year out. Not to mention the Pirates used to be a national brand.

    You just have an ownership that feels compelled to make money at the expense of it’s fan base. End of story.

    And don’t give me salary cap BS. There is a salary cap in basketball and there’s still the Clippers. There is a salary cap in football and you still have Detroit. It’s the ownership.

  12. 12
    Bob says:

    The first 28 out perfect game in baseball history.
    Gallaraga was masterful- he was throwing first pitch strikes all night and was rarely behind in the count. And his classy behavior afterwards was just as impressive.
    The only worse calls I’ve seen, given what was at stake, was Denkingers blown call in the 1985 World Series and the Brett Hull ‘no goal’ in the 1999 Stanley Cup finals.
    Joyce blew a call at first by inches in the bottom of the eighth. He missed the one in the top of the ninth by a foot. Inexcusable for a major league umpire.

  13. 13
    Seitz says:

    @Mike E:

    he clearly understands what a charmed life he leads, to toe the rubber every 5 days to hurl a little leather ball and make an un-Godly amount of money to do something he obviously loves.

    Not that it isn’t quite a lot of money, but Galarraga probably makes something around half a million. He made just over the league minimum last year, and he’s still club controlled this year (i.e., not a free agent, and not yet eligible for arbitration, so the club can pay him whatever it wants, subject to the league minimum). He’s no pauper, but he’s not making boatloads of cash either, relative to other major leaguers.

  14. 14
    Mike E says:

    @Seitz: I stand by my statement–and weep at my (bank) statement.

  15. 15
    Gus says:

    @mcd410x: Yeah, but no one in Tampa seems to care. The team with the best record in the majors is 9th of 14 in attendance in the AL. As a Twins fan, may I suggest a new stadium? Worked for us.

  16. 16
    vtr says:

    Dear Pixburghers,
    Do not despair. Read and re-read David Maraniss’ book about the God of Baseball, Clemente.
    I’m an old Red Sox fan, so my other God of Baseball is Bill Mazeroski.

    Baseball justifies American civilization. By default.

  17. 17
    edmund dantes says:

    I can’t say how impressed I am by how Joyce and Galarraga have handled it. It’s a true teaching moment of grace under pressure.

    It’s a true teaching moment for how to say your sorry and apologize without caveats, dissembling, or other crap that passes for apologies this day.

    Baseball could only cheapen this by declaring it a perfect game after the fact. Baseball does need to further expand replay in a sane manner. It makes no sense to willfully subject yourself these types of moments when they could easily be solved.

    P.S. It’s a shame it happened to Joyce too. He’s actually one of the good guys when it comes to the Umpires. This is now his career epitaph. If this had been Joe West or Angel Hernandez, they probably would be throwing Cabrerra and Galarraga out of the game for showing them up.

  18. 18
    geg6 says:

    @BenA:

    It’s definitely the ownership. I never in a million years thought I’d get nostalgic for the Galbreaths. I wish more than anything that Mario would buy the Bucs. He has floated the idea more than once. But the asshole who owns the team, Bob Nutting, refuses to sell and says that there is nothing at all wrong with the team, despite the fact that anyone with eyes can see they suck.

    This is why I will never again attend or watch a Pirates game.

    But it’s also about the financial and business structure of MLB. The financial imbalance is the major culprit, a problem solved in the NFL (I don’t pay attention to the NBA, so it may be similar…I don’t know). And the luxury tax is a joke.

    This is why I will never again attend or watch another MLB game anywhere ever again.

    When you put the two together in a place like Pittsburgh, you get a small market with less revenue to put toward salary competitiveness for players within the salary cap and an owner who deliberately spends the smallest amount allowable toward salaries in order to rake in the most for himself.

    What’s sad is that a sports junkie like me in a sports junkie city now has a sport she will never enjoy again. Sad for me, sad for the Pirates, and sad for MLB.

    Thankfully for me, hockey season runs into baseball season, football starts as baseball winds down, and college basketball keeps me going through the early spring. Gives me lots of free time in June and July.

  19. 19
    JBerardi says:

    Instant. Replay. Now.

    There’s just no reason this should ever happen in 2010. None.

    Also, what the hell is going on with dudes pitching perfect games every other week lately?

  20. 20
    Steve says:

    As a Tigers fan, I thought nothing could top Milt Wilcox pitching 8 2/3 perfect innings in 1983. I was so wrong.

    You have to be amazed at how classy Galarraga was. He just smiled, went back to the mound and got the next batter out cleanly. The rest of the team was going crazy, to the point where I thought they were going to lynch the umpire after the final out, but Galarraga didn’t even seem upset.

    Galarraga is a pretty anonymous player, but he won 13 games as a rookie in 2008 and his unflappable demeanor has to be worth something. If there’s any justice he will go on to great success in the majors, and who knows, maybe he’ll get another shot at that perfect game. Certainly the kid has a lot more people rooting for him than he had this time yesterday.

  21. 21
    litbrit says:

    At least those of you who live in NY and Boston and have actual teams.

    Hey! Son Two would like you to know we have an actual team down here in the region soon to be known as The Engulfed Coast: The RAYS. And they aren’t half-bad, you know. I’m no baseball-understander, but Son Two tells me they’re doing something he describes as “kicking ass” while also engaging in the practice of “taking names”.

  22. 22
    one two seven says:

    You really have to hand it to Joyce. Can you imagine the head of BP actually making a statement like “I just messed up the entire Gulf of Mexico.” and then apologizing to the people of this country for their actions?

  23. 23
    Camchuck says:

    As a Tiger’s fan, I don’t think amending the record to a perfect game would end up being very satisfying. Forever lost is the excitement and celebration that comes after that last out. There is no giving that back.

    In his post-game interview, Galarraga said (paraphrasing) “To me, it was a perfect game. I’ll show my kid the tape and say here’s my perfect game. The books don’t say it was perfect, but you can see it for yourself.”
    To me, that’s as good as the lemonade gets.

  24. 24
    Eric S. says:

    I play a ton of softball, 2 – 3 nights a week from April to November every year. When I saw the replays last night I was reminded of a play last year. We were up to bat and my first basewoman beat a throw to first by a full step and change. The lone umpire, who never got out from behind the plate, called her out. A few loud protests were lodged but it can’t be undone. When my SS handed me the scorebook after that inning I saw he had wrote “UC” in the box for that play.

    “What’s UC?” I asked.

    “Umpires Choice.”

    The grace with which Galarraga handled the blown call amaze me.

  25. 25
    BenA says:

    @geg6:
    I pretty much agree. The Pirates have been near top of the league for years in one catagory ratio between revenue and payroll. They have a middle of the pack revenue stream and a near bottom payroll.

    The other thing I chafe at is the notion that the Pittsburgh market is that small. Sure the Indians border it to the west, but you have a huge area that would naturally be Pittsburgh fans.

    There’s absolutely no reason why with a stadium that nice, and a fairly good sized, and loyal fan base, that the Pirates couldn’t be a competative team year in and year out, as things stand today.

  26. 26
    Tom Q says:

    A couple of things:

    1) Galarraga, with his smile of disbelief (the same one he’d flashed two outs earlier when Austin Jackson made that super catch), was indeed the picture of class, which prevented this turning ugly.

    2) In the minds of anyone alive today, it WAS a perfect game. But, for those of us who still love baseball, in a sense we got something better than a perfect game (which has been oddly diminished by having three of them inside a month). We got a new entry into baseball lore; something to stand alongside the Ernie Shore asterisked perfect game.

    3) A funny thought hit me last night: the only person who really knows how Galarraga feels is Al Gore.

  27. 27
    Patrick says:

    There is no reason to not reverse the call and let the guy have the perfect game that he pitched. The fans’ celebration is ruined? Well that is true either way. We all know he did it? Okay, but that seems like a reason for Selig to reverse it.

    The Pine Tar incident is a precedent.

    Galarraga is saying all the right things, but in 20 years he is going to be pissed. Why should he have to show a tape to his kid and explain himself? People are not going to say, “there have been 20 perfect games in MLB history, 21 with the Galarraga game” for more than a week or two.

    The only important result is that Detroit won. Everything else (all the stats in the box score) are for historical curiosity. Selig can change the call without effecting the result, and correcting the historical aspect. Win-win. The history of baseball over the past 25 years suggest they will find a way to lose.

  28. 28
    redoubt says:

    @litbrit: Your son is correct. The Rays are quietly becoming the model for how to put together a ballclub. They will be winners for years to come. (/jealous Cub fan)

    Well done for both Joyce and Galarraga.

  29. 29
    stormhit says:

    It is sort of notable that he would have been only the second player born outside of the US to pitch a perfect game, and the first from Venezuela. Not to mention the first Tiger. So even if we all know it actually happened, wanting him to see him have those kinds of records on the actual books doesn’t seem like it’s something that cheapens what happened.

  30. 30
    JBerardi says:

    @redoubt:

    The Rays are quietly becoming the model for how to put together a ballclub. They will be winners for years to come. (/jealous Cub fan)

    What model is that? Being a horrible team for a decade in order to secure many, many top picks in the draft?

    I guess the good news for you is that the Cubs could be in a position to do just that…

  31. 31
    Kurzleg says:

    It pains me to say this, but MLB could take a lesson from the NFL. Calls are routinely overturned in the NFL after the referees confer. But that’s for some reason verboten in MLB. I’ll bet every other member of the umpiring crew thought the guy was out, so why not take a few minutes, confer, and get the call right?

  32. 32
    MattR says:

    @JBerardi: I will be all for instant replay in baseball as soon as someone can give me a good explanation for how it will work in practical terms. How do you deal with a situation where there are runners on base and a fly ball is ruled caught when it was really trapped? Or while flipping a call from fair to foul is easy enough, what do you do if a ball was ruled foul when it was actually fair?

  33. 33
    3D says:

    @geg6:

    geg6

    Meh. Baseball sucks.
    Baseball, as currently structured, is a blown call. As a Pittsburgher, I know I’ll never watch another MLB game.
    Heckuva job, Buddy!

    Not that I give a rat’s ass about defending Bud Selig, cause I don’t. But there’s enough to legitimately criticize him about, without blaming him for the Pirates.

    Others have touched on this in this comment thread, but really, what does Bud Selig have to do with Pittsburgh sucking? They spend every offseason alerting their fans to the fact that they’re not going to go anywhere (by complaining about the lack of a salary cap, meaning they allegedly can’t compete). So they don’t make any money. Then, they take what money they do have and spend it on crappy guys who will be “fan friendly” like Jack Wilson and Pat Meares et al. And they draft horribly.

    In the time since the Pirates last made the playoffs, the Toronto, Florida (x2) and Arizona have won the World Series; the Twins are a perennial playoff contender; Oakland made the playoffs 5 out of 7 years; and Tampa Bay, Colorado and Cleveland all went to the World Series.

    I think the system actually works fine — the teams that have incompetent schmucks running them, like the Pirates, Brewers, Royals and Orioles, SHOULD be bad, and they are.

  34. 34
    SB Jules says:

    Earlier this season, the umps overturned a callmade in one inning during a Dodger game between innings! What I don’t understand is why it wasn’t done in this instance. No one would have objected except maybe Selig.

  35. 35

    @Mike E: Ken Burns? He managed to turn baseball into a dirge.

    If you want to get inside the significance of the game to a certain time in the making of the country in which we now live, you’d do yourself a favor by checking out George Higgins’ wonderful memoir, The Progress of the Seasons.

    Yes, I know it’s a Red Sox centered tale, which will make it anathema for many — but at least it was the bad old Sox, which might make it go down better. But Higgins (Friends of Eddie Coyle and much else besides) is not only one of the great regional writers of the last few decades, but also a wonderfully sentimental-without-being-sloppy observer of how links form between generations.

    Now that baseball, like all big time sports, is a matter of rooting for laundry, Higgins’ account of his engagement with the previous two generations of men in his family through baseball captures something of why the sport used to carry such mythic weight.

    Plus, he is (to repeat myself) a really fine writer and this is a great read.

  36. 36

    @JBerardi:

    True! The Rays should just go buy big name players like the other top teams. There’s no merit whatsoever in cultivating raw talent.

  37. 37
    3D says:

    @MattR:
    MattR

    I will be all for instant replay in baseball as soon as someone can give me a good explanation for how it will work in practical terms. How do you deal with a situation where there are runners on base and a fly ball is ruled caught when it was really trapped? Or while flipping a call from fair to foul is easy enough, what do you do if a ball was ruled foul when it was actually fair?

    Easy — any play that would involve re-placing runners, who were forced to run in two opposite directions based on the different calls, like the one you described, is not reviewable. (The play you described happens so rarely anyway that baseball could deal with one or two game-changing mistakes in that case. It happens, but really not a lot.)

    Also, balls and strikes would not be reviewable.

    The only reviewable plays would be home run calls, fair or foul calls, procedural calls (obstruction/interference or clean play) and safe/out calls where the decisions of baserunners after the play wouldn’t have been affected by the change of call.

    Also, I’d limit each side to one lost challenge per game, to avoid a parade of challenges. If you get one right, you get another one, but if the replay shows you’re wrong, you’re done.

  38. 38
    gex says:

    I used to have the best “real team” in the league: the Twins. But they’ve been playing protect marriage ads on their local carrier station and they didn’t even send me a form response to my complaint about it. So I guess I have to give them up. Of course, they still get my money because my sales tax revenue goes to them. So glad I get to subsidize the politicking against my own rights via government coercion.

  39. 39
    3D says:

    @SB Jules:

    Earlier this season, the umps overturned a callmade in one inning during a Dodger game between innings! What I don’t understand is why it wasn’t done in this instance.

    Because this was a safe/out call. Umpires don’t overturn those, or ball/strike calls, period. (They do in some very rare circumstances overturn fair/foul, both with replay on HRs, and when a guy bangs a ball off his foot and the home plate umpire doesn’t see or hear it.)

    It was an unfortunate circumstance and I feel bad for the guy, but you can’t start changing calls to satisfy what amounts to a rare statistical quirk. It undermines the integrity and authority of the umps, and it also renders statistical analysis meaningless.

  40. 40
    MattR says:

    @3D: You can’t even do all fair/foul calls since if the ball is incorrectly ruled foul the players all stop. Same thing is true for some procedural calls which end the play as soon as they are made. And that brings up an issue of fairness. Do you want to be able to reverse calls in only one direction (ie. you can make a fair ball foul but you cant make a foul ball fair)? IMO, you will end up adding a ton of rules to clarify what is reviewable but the end result will be that there are very few plays that actually qualify. If that is what people want to do, I don’t love it but I don’t really hate it either. But I am pretty sure that most people who are crying for instant replay today have not really thought the issue through. All they are thinking is “fix the perfect game”.

  41. 41
    PaulW says:

    Do you know how huge this is? We’ve got the NBA finals between BOSTON AND L.A. starting tonight and ESPN spends entire hours discussing how bad this call was. Under normal circumstances we’d be getting “Magic vs. Bird” memories and “Kobe vs. Kevin” arguments and discussions about Ron Artest’s shoe size. But we’re not.

    This game is now the poster child for arguments to bring instant replay to baseball games for more than just questionable home run hits.

  42. 42
    JBerardi says:

    @MattR:
    @3D:

    If you read the link, the suggestion is this:

    The best way, in my view, is to simply station a fifth umpire in the official scorer’s box. Give him the same feed the broadcast guys have. Give him a buzzer and, when an obviously bad call like this one happens, have him call down to the crew chief and overturn the call.

    A system like this wouldn’t be able to address every bad call. But it would have given Galarraga a perfect game last night.

    It’s something of a false dilemma that we can’t have replay in baseball because it can’t address every possible situation. It doesn’t have to fix every blown call. If it just fixes some blown calls while not otherwise having a negative impact on the game, then we should have it (in fact, we already do for home runs).

  43. 43
    danimal says:

    The only real winner in this fiasco is Ed Hochuli.

  44. 44
    Chinn Romney says:

    The 3rd Perfect Game in one season? Boring. Thanks to the ending people will actually remember it for years to come. Everyone involved was tremendously gracious in the aftermath. Even the Manager calmed down and accepted it as an honest mistake. Instead of another dark cloud this turned into a shining moment for MLB.

  45. 45
    JBerardi says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Listen, you’re talking to a guy who 1) knows that the amateur draft is happening next Monday and 2) is actually excited about it. I am all about player development. I’m just saying, the Rays’ “model” for success involves being the league doormat for at least a half-decade. I’m not sure that’s necessarily the route that Cubs fans necessarily want their franchise going in.

  46. 46
    dj spellchecka says:

    @benA…i live about an hour south of cleveland and you wouldn’t beleive how many steelers fans there are around here…and to those lamenting the pirates’ current ownership, the indians’ owner is quickly moving the team to perennial lost cause status too

  47. 47
    Vlad says:

    So much wrong information about the Pirates being presented in this thread, it makes my head spin…

    But the asshole who owns the team, Bob Nutting, refuses to sell and says that there is nothing at all wrong with the team, despite the fact that anyone with eyes can see they suck.

    Nutting has only been the majority partner since 2007. And from the moment he took over, the team’s operations have been handled very differently. He watched Littlefield and company for one season, then fired the whole lot of them at the end of the year and brought in a stat-friendly team. He made large capital investments in facilities, authorized the highest draft budget in MLB for the last two seasons, and greatly increased international spending. Greatly increased as in signing more than a dozen $100k+ teenage amateurs under Huntington, where we had added literally none under Littlefield and Bonifay combined.

    Baseball isn’t football. You can’t just have one good draft and immediately turn the franchise around on a dime. Even the best prospects often take three or four years to get to the majors. So even though the team has added a huge amount of high-quality amateur talent over the last few seasons, none of the Yinzers have noticed, and it’s just business as usual as far as they’re concerned.

    I mean, Christ. Tampa’s current super-genius front office took over in late 2005. They still lost 90+ in each of the next two years, even though they’re super-geniuses and all that. And they inherited a farm system that was stocked to the gills, not one that had been burned to the ground like Littlefield’s. Get some perspective here.

    Then, they take what money they do have and spend it on crappy guys who will be “fan friendly” like Jack Wilson and Pat Meares et al. And they draft horribly.

    Take a look at the current roster. Where are the expensive, fan-friendly veterans? Oh, that’s right. There are none, because we only did that shit under Littlefield and Bonifay. The current roster is almost all fairly raw guys in their early/mid-20s, who are getting an extended look at a job while the prospects added over the last few years move through the system, in the hope that one or two can be useful contributors when the prospect bulk hits critical mass.

    Keerist. I can’t believe self-described baseball fans in Pittsburgh know so little about the actual team. Watch some fucking games instead of crying into your Iron City, you mopes!

  48. 48
    ThresherK says:

    It pains me to say this, but MLB could take a lesson from the NFL. Calls are routinely overturned in the NFL after the referees confer.

    But those aren’t judgment calls, and football stops every 6 seconds for a committee meeting anyway. The first replay turnover in a Super Bowl I remember was a Washingtons’ catch which was originally called a TD, turned out Art Monk had a foot beyond the end line, v. Buffalo. Does anyone else remember it? If not, that means they figured out how to correct it in the course of play and make it a non-factor in the outcome.

    I’m open to instant replay on game-ending plays, which means a play which would be the third out in the losing half of the ninth or extra inning, or any game-ending score in the bottom of the ninth or extra innings.

    PS I’ve never heard Joyce’s name before, which makes him a defacto good umpire.

  49. 49
    MattR says:

    @JBerardi: My follow questions would be: what is an “obviously bad call” and which categories of calls are overturnable? Are you ok with the fact that fair balls could be changed to foul, but foul balls could not be changed to fair (other than home runs)?

    Based on these limitations, there would probably be only a couple calls a month that got overturned (and maybe one or two of those during the course of the season would affect the outcome of a game). Even with such a low frequency, I can justify adding a replay official. I just don’t think that it is the panacea that most fans are expecting.

  50. 50
    dkxkee says:

    I watched the end of the game on MLB TV and was just as dismayed as anyone. Too bad for us as a country that the media will be more worked up about this than they were about us invading other countries for no apparent reason.

  51. 51
    Mumphrey says:

    I don’t know why they couldn’t overrule it. It’s clearly a bad call; the umpire himself says as much. I wish they would overrule it.

    Also, we have a real team in Philadelphia, too. And Cincinnati and St. Louis are doing well, too. Not a good year for my American League teams, though: Cleveland and Chicago aren’t doing any too well…

  52. 52
    BombIranForChrist says:

    It obviously sucks really hard for pitcher man, but on the plus side, his perfect game, and that is what it was, will be more famous than any of the others. Doubly so because he’s handling it like a mensch, and not like a retard (see Professional Sports).

  53. 53
    Nylund says:

    @Seitz:

    I looked it up. He signed a 1 year deal for $400,000. That is a lot my normal people standards but just over the league minimum by baseball standards.

    Sports players do make a lot of money but most work for a very short time, so they better make that money last.

  54. 54
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    It’s pretty idiotic that this is becoming an issue on the national news.

    Blown calls happen all the time. Sometimes they change the outcome of a game and sometimes they change the trajectory of a statistical arc.

    Sometimes an ump blows a call in the ninth inning and the guy goes on to pitch a one-hitter. Sometimes the ump blows a call in the first inning and the guy goes on to pitch a one-hitter. There is no difference between the former and the latter. Repeat: there is no difference between the former and the latter. Well, except in the minds of the idiot pundits.

    Other possibilities come to mind. How many times during the course of the game did the home plate ump call a pitch that was six inches outside a strike? The idiot pundits don’t care.

    Perfect games, no-hitters and the like are artificial constructs that don’t have some magical life of their own. The guy who lost his perfect game to a close call is no more worthy of a merit badge than the guy who lost his perfect game on a bloop single. Both those things are just dumb luck that happen in sports, deal with it.

  55. 55
    Nylund says:

    Can you imagine if baseball was played like football? “Ok, there was a bad call on that play, so everyone go back to where you were and let’s redo that at bat.”

    That sounds horrible to me.

  56. 56
    shortstop says:

    At least those of you who live in NY and Boston and have actual teams.

    A few years back, I stepped aside on a narrow hiking trail with a steep drop-off to let a kid get past, even though, as I jokingly commented to his dad, the little guy had a Yankees cap on. (Yeah, not my most competent comic effort.)

    Ah, the dad said with appalling certitude and a big smirk, you’re a Red Sox fan.

    Because, you know, there are no other clubs.

    I know John’s not a baseball fan, and hell, he lives in West Virginia, and I’m laughing, not seriously grouching, but guy, come on with this helpfully contributing to the Evil Empire I and Wannabe II meme.

  57. 57
    jvill says:

    Baseball fans crack me up.

    Any sport that features 1 team winning 25% of the championships is clearly rigged for the rich guys.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    @3D:

    You’re entitled to your opinion and I won’t disagree about the Pirate ownership (which I have commented on in some small detail in post #18, which you apparently didn’t read). But ownership is not the only or even the major problem with baseball teams that suck. Yeah, owners often suck up all the cash for themselves by putting shitty teams on the field, but they do that in wealthier large market teams (see Atlanta), too.

    But the business model for MLB is deliberately set up to make small market teams uncompetitive in relation to large market teams over time. Of all the small market teams you mention in your post, how many of them get into the playoffs or WS consistently? If they do (like Tampa, but not nearly as often as the Yanks, right?), how long does it take before the WS team is completely dismantled after the WS win? How do you explain the fact that there is parity among the NFL teams, regardless of market size or asshole owners? Why is this not true in MLB?

    It’s because of the business model. When MLB decides they give a shit about anyone other than New York, I might come back. Believe me, I will still think baseball sucks, because it’s boring compared to all the others (I find golf more exciting, honestly), but I will go because I support my home teams and I’m a sports nut. But until then, the most boring of the major sports can kiss my ass. And there are thousands of us Yinzers saying the same thing. No one here will cry if the Pirates fold. Not today’s Pirates anyway.

  59. 59
    Mike E says:

    @thomas Levenson: Yeah, I know, he took a giant dump on my Phillies, “the most racist team in baseball.” My point is the subject matter still transcends most of the blatant hackery, including the even more awful George W Will.

  60. 60
    geg6 says:

    @Vlad:

    Go ahead and waste your own cash and any credibility you have with me by defending Nutting. I’m done with that piece of shit team and even more done with the assholes that own and those who excuse them. I don’t know what team you’re watching, but it’s not the one that plays in PNC Park.

    And you obviously don’t know a damn thing about what puts a fan in the seats if you think the scrubs they have on the field now are any better than the scrubs they’ve been putting out for the last 17 years. The idea that Nutting has spent money on capital improvements? Where exactly? PNC Park? Didn’t need any. Players that will keep people who feel like me buying tickets for their shitty product? Nope. Amateurs and semi-pros that they either trade away for next to nothing or who are so bad they are right back down the next week are all I’ve seen from that team for 17 fucking years.

    You seem to think that the Pirates came into being in the McClatchey years and that I’m somehow caught up in nostalgia for the Littlefield era. Sorry, honey, but I remember when we had an actual team, not the garbage that has been there since we’ve had the Idiot Twins (McClatchey and Nutting) running the show. As I said in an earlier post, if you had told me back in 1980 or so that I’d be missing the Galbreaths, I’d have laughed in your face.

    All I can say is that your frame of reference for the Pirates is not the same as mine. Mainly because I can remember when they consistently did well and you obviously can’t.

  61. 61
    MCA says:

    @Bruce: A-freaking-men.

    I cannot believe the freakout over this. I can understand, and sympathize with, Tigers fans being angry. But for the rest of the world – you don’t get two W’s in the standings for a perfect game. The call had no impact on the outcome of the game, or even the score. It’s too bad it happened, the ump feels awful, the player accepted it, stuff happens, big deal, end of story. The Twins actually lost a game on a game-ending bad call last night – that actually matters. Why are we stopping the presses over a statistical aberration, and demanding the league prostrate itself to sports media onanizing, to issue an ex post facto rule change for it? All the hyperbole and outrage being thrown around is really disconcerting. It’s not “the worst call ever.” It’s not the “most important blown call ever.” Joyce is not a worthless human being. Galarraga has certainly NOT been “robbed of history” – if it weren’t for this nontroversy, he’d be just another number in the list of guys who’ve thrown perfectos, this year’s Tom Browning. He’d get his Warholian 24 hours of immortality, and we’d be on to the next thing. In 40 years, no one will remember that Hall of Famer Roy Halladay threw a perfect game, but they will remember that Galarraga did and got screwed out of it. Everybody wins.

  62. 62
    ChrisB says:

    I don’t know that you can change the call but what about the scoring decision? I’d score the play E-1 (because Galarraga kinda sorta sno-coned the throw and the batter clearly did not beat it out) rather than a hit. That way, Galarraga at least gets a no-hitter, if not the perfect game.

    Interesting stat I learned this morning: there have been 20 perfect games in baseball hitory. Ten potential perfect games were lost after 2 were out in the ninth.

    Also, I agree with everyone else about how much class Galarraga, Joyce, and the manager Jim Leyland showed.

  63. 63
    mellowjohn says:

    on his baseball blog last week, keith olbermann posted:

    “There have been 20 official Perfect Games (sorry, Harvey Haddix; sorry, Pedro Martinez) in baseball history, and thanks to Dallas Braden and now Roy Halladay, there have been two of them in just twenty days.
    Of course it’s more preposterous than that. Because Mark Buehrle threw his perfecto for the White Sox just last July 23rd, there have now been three perfect games (15 percent of all of them, ever) in the last 130 days of Major League Baseball play.
    Wait – it gets worse. The first perfect game, by Lee Richmond of Worcester of the National League, was thrown on June 12, 1880. The second, by Johnny Ward of Providence (also still in the NL that season), took place just five days later. So now we’re talking about a quarter of all of them, ever, being concentrated in a net span of 135 days of play.”

    and this wouldashouldacoulda been the third this season?

    btw, my big problem w/ ken burns’ “baseball” is that someone who knew nothing about the game could easily conclude that it was played almost exclusively in new york and boston.

  64. 64
    Calouste says:

    Heard around the world? Pfffffft.

    Baseball is just like cricket, it is played by a former imperial power, former parts of its empire and a few hangers-on, and the rest of the world doesn’t give a toss.

  65. 65
    Mike E says:

    Baseball is just like cricket

    Pffffffft to you too, splitter. Also.

  66. 66
    Cacti says:

    A bad call cost my team the 1985 World Series.

    Just google:

    “Denkinger calls Orta safe”

  67. 67
    pat kelly says:

    Actually, we have a real team in Philly, too, and just had a perfect game from Roy Halliday.

    The guy pitched a perfect game – make it official. Seems pretty simple to me.

  68. 68
    Leonard Stiltskin says:

    As bad as the call was, there is just no way to overturn the call without a huge freakout across baseball. What do you say to Cardinal fans, who lost a World Series because of a similar call. You have to play by the rules in place at the time.

    What I don’t get is what was going through Joyce’s mind. There was no way he was taking heat for calling the guy out on a bang-bang play if he barely beat the throw, but there was every chance he’d be villified for all times if he calls him safe. I think he might have gotten caught up in the moment and thought to himself “wow, he’s going to lose the perfect game on an infield hit” and then subconsciously already decided the call in his head.

    As for Gallaraga being more famous for his “almost perfect game” that’s highly debatable. The history books won’t include his name. Only a small portion of the current generation will remember this when the outrage fades. In 10-15 years, no one will remember he pitched the game and it won’t be referenced in the history books.

  69. 69
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    @Seitz:

    He’ll arguably be more famous. If the game was an official perfect game, he’d be one of 21. As of now, he’s one of one. Whenever they talk about how many perfect games there have been in baseball history, they’ll say there have been 20, and one by Armando Galarraga that got taken away.

    What Seitz said!

  70. 70
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @geg6: AH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!!!!!!!!

    That was funny.

    You have no idea who Vlad is, do you? I’m pretty sure he’s someone I’ve read talking about Pirates’ baseball a lot on Baseball Think Factory. Trust me on this: he knows a hell of a lot more about what it takes to build a winning team, and also more about how to draw fans, than you do. That you clearly don’t understand what he was saying is further evidence.

    Vlad, correctly, said that Huntington has spent a lot of money in the draft and signing international free agents the last two years. You complain that you can’t see them in Pittsburgh? Well, duh. He told you that they aren’t there yet. It takes time.

    As for the current team, if you look at them, and all you can see is a bunch of scrubs just like the ones that were there under Littlefield, you really don’t know what you are watching. Have you watched Andrew McCutcheon? Ryan Doumit is healthy again. Garrett Jones may actually be for real.

    In the minors, Pedro Alvarez is knocking on the door. Bryan Morris seems to be healed from Tommy John surgery and is blowing people away. (I have a bad feeling I’m going to regret trading him away . . .) Huntington was roasted for taking Tony Sanchez in the first round last year, trying to be cheap, but it appears that he was smarter than the rest of us, because Sanchez looks like the real deal.

    As you seem to do regularly, you’ve allowed justified anger spiral out of control until you’re completely irrational about something.

  71. 71
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @Calouste:

    Baseball is just like cricket, it is played by a former imperial power, former parts of its empire and a few hangers-on, and the rest of the world doesn’t give a toss.

    The Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese and Australians will be interested to know that they are just hangers on. Or the Dutch, whose team beat the Dominican Republic twice in the last World Baseball Classic. (Go honkballers!) The Twins signed a German kid last year.

    And, yeah, I know you were joking, but what the hell. I like cricket, too. It’s just that life is tough to us West Indies fans. Which reminds, me; I need to get around to ordering a Chris Gayle ODI jersey.

  72. 72
    twiffer says:

    @Seitz: the median family income for the US is something like 60K a year. half a million is a boatload of cash, regardless of how he is paid relative to other major leaguers.

  73. 73
    Calouste says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN):

    I had a bit of a look around and it seems that baseball is definitely on the rise in Europe. Until about 10 years ago it was only played at a serious level in Holland and Italy. In those days the European Championship was played with the following format: two groups of four with a single round of matches where Holland and Italy would beat amateurs from Belgium, Spain and Sweden in 5 or 6 innings, and then a best-of-five to decide the champions. Interesting to see that it has become so much more competitive in a fairly short time that Italy didn’t even finish in the top 6 in 2007.

  74. 74
    geg6 says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN):

    I really don’t give a flying fuck who Vlad is. He doesn’t know anything at all about what it takes to get people to give a shit about baseball. Just like all the idiots who think that in four or six or ten years those draft picks will be awesome! or that somehow those minor leaguers are finally gonna create a fabulous team that will win WS after WS after WS and we can all hold hands and sing “We Are Family” again, he lives in a dream world.

    We’ve heard this same shit since 1993. Almost every year. Call me when it actually happens. I won’t be expecting the call because I’ll be dead and so will both you and Vlad. Both of you must be about 12 years old to not remember this refrain being sung about every 3 years for the past 20 years.

    This is why baseball sucks. I was wrong about the finances and horrid ownership. It’s the idiots who think it’s the statistics (except wins and losses…those aren’t important!) that puts asses in the seats and the baseball geeks who buy the tickets. It’s not. It’s people like me who want to see a team win a fucking game, let alone a goddam season, now and again. People don’t want to shell out over $100 to go and watch the Pirates add to their wonderful 17 years of losing.

  75. 75
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @geg6: Yes, and I repeat that you have no clue as to what is involved with building a winning team. The Pirates are in the early stages of doing just that. It may not work, but they are definitely trying, and going about it the right way.

    You also know next to nothing about people who are deep into statistical analysis of baseball. You’re also incredibly insulting. Vlad cares very deeply about the Pirates, and no one I’m familiar with was more sarcastically critical of the Littlefield regime. Seitz has probably never been happier than the day the Angels won the World Series. I’m a Tigers fan; 2003 was a miserable experience, and 2006 was the most fun I’ve ever had as a sports fan. Your need to belittle people who enjoy the game differently than you do to the point of not taking the time to understand them at all is really just a piece with the way you treat everything. You think of yourself as open minded, but I rarely run into someone more blinkered and reactionary.

  76. 76
    SB Jules says:

    @3D:

    Because this was a safe/out call. Umpires don’t overturn those, or ball/strike calls, period. (They do in some very rare circumstances overturn fair/foul, both with replay on HRs, and when a guy bangs a ball off his foot and the home plate umpire doesn’t see or hear it.)

    It was a question of whether the outfielder caught or trapped the ball. Seems to me that an “out” call.

  77. 77
    danimal says:

    BTW, my Padres are having a hell of a season with a total team payroll that might cover player parking fees at Yankee Stadium.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN):

    It’s the statistic fanatics who ruin the game for everyone else. I detest them. They are the ones, just like you and Vlad, who make excuses for shitty ownership because if you can find some statistically good thing about the team, well, all is fine!

    I repeat…I’ve been hearing your and Vlad’s arguments for 17 years from people who know as much or more than either of you do, at least one of whom gets to vote for the HoF every year. His prognostications about the Pirates rebuilding efforts over those years has been about as good as yours and Vlad’s. Excuse me if I don’t take any of you seriously any more.

    And it really doesn’t matter any more if they do manage it, by some miracle. I don’t know a single person under the age of 25 who watches or cares a whit about baseball. Hell, we can barely field a varsity baseball team (despite being conference champs and finishing second nationally last year) because the kids around here don’t care. You and Vlad will be the only ones watching in a decade or so.

    That’s the problem that people like you and Vlad don’t see. Very few people give a shit about the stupid statistics which can seem to make the win/loss ratio the least important thing. People, enough people to make a major league team viable, want a winning team. End.of.story.

    As for belittling Vlad, I didn’t do that. I belittled the Pirates and the idea that they will ever be any good. I don’t know Vlad. And to be honest, if I had belittled him, so what? This is the interwebs, dude. Perhaps you are not familiar with the medium.

  79. 79
    pat kelly says:

    Just make a one-time exception – it doesn’t affect the outcome of the game, World Series, etc. – it only reflects the reality of this pitcher’s performance. I think any real fan can understand that without a big dust-up about years ago.

    I just heard the umpire from that World Series, and he’s right – if the Cardinals had hit more, they wouldn’t have lost due to one bad call.

    But Galaragga did do what he had to do.

  80. 80
    twiffer says:

    @geg6: yay! sabermetrics throw down!

    stats record how good a player is. players who compile good statistics tend to win games. so, by getting good players (as gauged by looking at past performance, that is stats, and projecting based on historical trends) you wind up with a better team. in time.

    but hey, i don’t care about the pirates anyway. i’m a new englander and boston fan. besides, the NL is AAAA anyway (pujols notwithstanding)

  81. 81
    Leonard Stiltskin says:

    @Quaker in a Basement:

    @Seitz:

    He’ll arguably be more famous. If the game was an official perfect game, he’d be one of 21. As of now, he’s one of one. Whenever they talk about how many perfect games there have been in baseball history, they’ll say there have been 20, and one by Armando Galarraga that got taken away.

    What Seitz said!

    *****************************************
    Edit for blockquote fail:

    This will last for a few years before the game becomes a footnote in history. The reality is that 20 years from now, very few will remember this, and will do so in very fleeting fashion. The other 20 are in the history books for all eternity.

    Until a few years back, Harvey Haddix’s game was considered a perfect game, until the rule was changed and he was taken out of the record books. How many times has Harvey Haddix been mentioned in the past three weeks as (almost) 3 perfect games were thrown?

  82. 82
    MattR says:

    @twiffer: Kinda hard to have a sabermetrics throwdown when nobody is breaking out sabermetrics :)

  83. 83
    MattR says:

    BTW, I crashed early last night and missed out on all the hubbub as it happened. When I woke up there was a very confusing (to me) text msg from a friend – “at tigers game. completely shocked and appalled.”

  84. 84
    mpowell says:

    Yes, screw those stat heads! Especially the ones who are hard at work for various clubs helping them to win more games each season! The point of baseball is to win games and you do that the old fashioned way like the Pirates in the 70s. If you use stats and stuff those don’t count as real wins ’cause you’re not doing it right and you’re ruining the sport for me and all my friends who haven’t liked baseball for years anyways!

  85. 85
    MCA says:

    @Leonard Stiltskin – I understand your point about being in print vs. not, but I respectfully disagree on the impact of the two situations. What’s more often discussed by baseball fans: that Len Barker threw a perfect game, or that Milt Pappas was potentially screwed out of a perfect game by a shrinking strike zone? I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. How often do even serious baseball fans actually look at “the record books” anyway? And if they’re there, do they bother to check the Perfect Games section? Harvey Haddix wasn’t a significantly better pitcher than Tom Browning. Yet the one of those two who played half a century ago and isn’t officially credited with a perfect game, is the one who has his name dropped every time someone throws one nowadays, while the guy who is credited with one, from just 15 years ago, is already an afterthought to history. In another 25 years, the grave injustice discussion can still occur re: Haddix, with Galarraga now added to the discussion, and no one will know who the hell Browning was. Or Mike Witt. Or the couple guys from the 19th century who did it. And they won’t remember which specific Hall of Famers, like Halladay and Johnson and Koufax, threw perfect games. They’ll only know it’s x pitchers in major league history.

  86. 86
    tom says:

    I was at the Tigers game this afternoon, where the Tigers beat the Indians 12-6. Galarraga was cheered (and presented with a new Corvette), Joyce booed when he was announced as the plate umpire, and life went on. The booing, by the way, was more perfunctory than vicious, I think because the fans recognized that Joyce straight up admitted that he blew the call and was sincerely apologetic about it. That and the fact that Leyland and Galarraga were so gracious.

    The Detroit News reported that Joyce was given the opportunity to skip today’s game, but he chose to work it anyway, which shows some guts on his part.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @geg6: What is your complaint? Is anyone saying that the stats _override_ the performance on the field? I haven’t seen that. Instead, I’ve seen a series of points about how the Pirates are trending in a (slightly) encouraging direction. Saying that the Pirates’ bad ownership should fix the team (through unspecified means) is a bit like saying that Obama should fix the oil spill (through unspecified means). True, everyone would like to see it, but, you know, it’s likely to be a slow and frustrating process.

  88. 88
    patrick says:

    Galaragga presented today’s line-up card to an obviously emotional Joyce.

    I tend to agree that in the time it took from the moment the ball left the bat to the moment he made the call, a scenario played out in his head that somehow interrupted his ability to see the play right. He was in perfect position to make the right call and didn’t.

    As I’ve noted elsewhere, I strongly believe in the purity of the game and that the umpires’ fallibility is as much a part of the game as anything. But because reversing the call doesn’t really take anything away from anyone (except for the single Donald was awarded, which I think he would willingly give up), it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the game.

    The whole world (or at least everyone that has seen the replay) knows that Galarraga pitched a perfect game. I say, make it official.

  89. 89
    JBerardi says:

    @geg6:

    It’s the statistic fanatics who ruin the game for everyone else. I detest them. They are the ones, just like you and Vlad, who make excuses for shitty ownership because if you can find some statistically good thing about the team, well, all is fine!

    Yeah yeah yeah, and Darwin really took all the fun out of creationism.

    Seriously, the whole “statistics are ruining/taking the fun out of the game” argument is incredibly weak. I basically take it as “other people are more informed than me and I’d rather piss and moan about it than actually try to learn something”.

  90. 90
    JBerardi says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    If we’re really lucky, NPR will do a whole Hour on Talk of the Nation about it!

    Well, I don’t know if they did the whole hour, but I did catch them interviewing Joyce… good call.

    I’m actually not one of the resident NPR haters here, but yes, TOTN is just fucking awful.

  91. 91
    pattonbt says:

    This case is perfect for an exception to the rule. It was the last out of the game and history was on the line. And the pitcher got the next guy out so the outcome of the game was not changed.

    This is where leadership and not blind adherence to history, dogma, rules and tradition should be shown. Not changing this is like blindly relying “zero tolerance” rules. If there ever was or will be a case where the right thing can be done and everyone wins and no one loses, this is it.

    I know replay for baseball is incredibly problematic and in most cases not practical, but I can not see one reason why there can not be an executive exemption rule for cases like this (where all parties can easily agree).

    There is zero impact in changing the final outcome of this game to officially show a perfect game.

    Now, am I going to lose any sleep over this, no, but I just see it as a wrong that could be easily righted.

  92. 92
    Vico says:

    @JBerardi: Neal Conan:
    The King of the Uhs, the worst radio delivery in the history of the audion tube. To say nothing of the content of his uh-littered talk.

  93. 93
    Vlad says:

    @geg6: Blah blah 17 years blah blah done with this team blah blah wore an onion on my belt. Sound about right?

    I notice you didn’t actually bother to refute any of the factual points from my post. The facilities improvements to which I was referring are the new Dominican academy (built from scratch at a cost of ~$5M) and the renovations to McKechnie field in Bradenton, in order to make it suitable for simultaneous use for the Marauders and extended spring training (simplifying logistics and allowing better focus by the training and medical staffs). Those are things that no penny-pinching miser would ever spend money on, since they aren’t highly-visible and they don’t generate significant positive PR among the casual fan base. They are, however, the kinds of things that help lead down the road to a better product.

    But you’re angry about stuff that happened when I was still in high school. Fine. Sure, the people who did that stuff have been sacked, and replaced by different people who have also been sacked, and the majority owner who hired both sets of people has been sacked too, but there’s still scapegoatin’ to get done! And blaming Obama for stuff the Bush administration did probably gets old after a while, so we may as well pin McClatchy’s tail on Bob Nutting.

  94. 94
    Vlad says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN): For the record, I’m the same Vlad he’s talking about.

  95. 95
    Vlad says:

    @geg6: You don’t want to buy tickets? Fine, stay home. More for me.

    As for hating statistics, statistics are nothing but the record of what happened on the field. If you hate accurate accounts of real-world events, then you may want to re-think this whole “Reality-Based Community” thing. Take a right-hand turn and go directly to RedState – you’ll be much happier there.

    I will confess, I’m kind of disappointed that you didn’t have any better arguments. “I knew a guy one time who liked statistics, and he was dumb” isn’t exactly Grade A material.

  96. 96
    3D says:

    @SB Jules: @geg6:

    But the business model for MLB is deliberately set up to make small market teams uncompetitive in relation to large market teams over time.

    Really, that must explain why the Mets, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox make the World Series every year.

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

    Of all the small market teams you mention in your post, how many of them get into the playoffs or WS consistently?

    Nobody gets into the World Series “consistently”. Even the Yankees don’t, they had a run where they played in 5 in a row, and outside of that, they have made it 3 times in 32 years.

    If they do (like Tampa, but not nearly as often as the Yanks, right?), how long does it take before the WS team is completely dismantled after the WS win?

    Again, you’re blaming the devious, greedy, self-serving actions of owners (like Jeffrey Loria and Wayne Huizenga who each dismantled the Marlins) on the MLB structure. Completely misplaced outrage.

    There’s nothing in the MLB structure, nor in their revenue streams, forcing them to dismantle their teams. They did it because they could make more money putting a shit team out there with low overhead, and they don’t care about their fans.

    Huizenga wrote a book about it, where he bragged about it, fer chrissakes. These guys don’t care about baseball. They’re businessmen.

    How do you explain the fact that there is parity among the NFL teams, regardless of market size or asshole owners? Why is this not true in MLB?

    Did you cry about parity in the NFL when the Patriots had their dynasty? How about the Steelers being in contention every year?

    Putting a cap on team salary is not going to make the Royals or Orioles any smarter. They’re still going to suck. Same as the Lions in the NFL. And the smart teams will still be good. And the somewhat smart teams that occasionally do dumb stuff are going to be in the middle. All you’re going to do is artificially depress player salaries, and make owners very happy that they can now buy a seventh yacht.

    Secondly, MLB has parity. A different team won the World Series every year from 2001-2009, with only one repeater (Boston). And every team has made the playoffs in that time, except for 6: Toronto, Baltimore, KC, Montreal/Washington, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. And really, any system that allows teams to be mismanaged as badly as those 6 and still make the playoffs, would be a bad system.

    When MLB decides they give a shit about anyone other than New York, I might come back. Believe me, I will still think baseball sucks, because it’s boring compared to all the others (I find golf more exciting, honestly), but I will go because I support my home teams and I’m a sports nut.

    MLB doesn’t care if you come back, since (a) you’re not really a baseball fan anyway, and (b) they’re shattering attendance records across the sport every year without you.

  97. 97
    3D says:

    @pattonbt:

    This case is perfect for an exception to the rule. It was the last out of the game and history was on the line. And the pitcher got the next guy out so the outcome of the game was not changed.
    This is where leadership and not blind adherence to history, dogma, rules and tradition should be shown. Not changing this is like blindly relying “zero tolerance” rules. If there ever was or will be a case where the right thing can be done and everyone wins and no one loses, this is it.

    If you’re going to break precedent and reverse an umpire’s call at the end of a game, to satisfy a statistical quirk, how can you justify NOT doing it to change a blown call that would actually affect an outcome?

    You can’t. If you can reverse a call when the game wasn’t on the line, you can’t then suddenly have the commissioner sit back and let a blown call change a winning team into a losing team. Every team that ever lost on a blown call would have a legit complaint.

  98. 98
    3D says:

    @patrick:

    Galaragga presented today’s line-up card to an obviously emotional Joyce.
    I tend to agree that in the time it took from the moment the ball left the bat to the moment he made the call, a scenario played out in his head that somehow interrupted his ability to see the play right. He was in perfect position to make the right call and didn’t.
    As I’ve noted elsewhere, I strongly believe in the purity of the game and that the umpires’ fallibility is as much a part of the game as anything. But because reversing the call doesn’t really take anything away from anyone (except for the single Donald was awarded, which I think he would willingly give up), it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the game.

    Really? How about if instead of a blown call, the last out was booted by an infielder. Should they give him a perfect game anyway, just because it wouldn’t affect the outcome of a game?

    A perfect game is special, because not only does the pitcher have to be great, but he also has to have the aid of things outside his control — defense, and officiating. That didn’t happen, and it’s a shame, and I feel bad for the guy too, but blown calls are part of the game and so are the consequences.

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