28 Out Perfection

Steve O Speak

Not only did the Tigers Armando Galarraga throw the 3rd perfect game of this season, but he bettered Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay by getting 28 batters out without allowing one reach base, or at least that is the case if you watched the game. Unfortunately, a blown call at first base ruined Galarraga’s perfection in the record books. Much of the debate that will spring from this situation will involve instant replay, and how it should be used. But the real debate (and I don’t even believe it should be one) is whether or not Bud Selig should step in and award the perfect game to Galarraga.

I know baseball purists will say that it would be unfair and it would hurt the integrity of the game, but isn’t the game’s integrity hurt by not recognizing Galarraga’s accomplishment? I’m not talking about changing history based on something subjective like the strike zone, I’m talking about giving credit where credit is due. Sure you could go back in time and take hits and homeruns away (or give them) to players if you rewatched every play over the years, but this one is a no brainer. Galarraga clearly beat the runner, on what would have been the 27th out of the game. There is no guesswork in that fact. This wasn’t some blown call in the 5th inning or when the game wasn’t decided. We are talking about honestly saying that the ump (Jim Joyce) made a bad call (which he fully admits). And before we get into a debate about instant replay, that wasn’t a true replay call, umpires get that call right 99.99% of the time without instant replay, because Donald wasn’t even close to being safe. If you need further proof that Galarraga deserves a perfect game, remember that even after that horrible call he still got the next batter out.

While it still would have been an open debate if the next batter got a (real) hit off of Galarraga, but by getting Crowe to ground out to end the game (again) I don’t see how you can argue the fact that Galarraga was truly perfect last night. That performance last night should not be tarnished due to one bad mistake. Sure human error is part of the game, but it shouldn’t change history like that. Not only should the league step in, but it needs too.

In a situation like last night Bud Selig and MLB have every reason and right to step in and award a perfect game to Galarraga. I mean who is really going to complain? Joyce already feels awful and has apologized for the missed call. I’d have to imagine that Jason Donald and the Indians would support that as well, because it is good for the game. While some might get upset at the league for overriding an umps call, the league can make it completely clear that given the extreme circumstances (9 inning, 2 down, as well as getting the next guy out) that this is a unique situation. All the league is changing here is the record books (and I guess Galarraga’s and Donald’s stat lines). This didn’t change the outcome of the game or erase what other players did. Baseball needs to do the right thing and award Galarraga the 21st perfect game in league history.

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