Thursday Open Thread – plus: debate about MLB instant replay options

Posted by: ST on June 3, 2010 at 8:07 am

Hey y’all – got a hectic morning ahead of me. Not sure when I’ll be able to check back in.

Did you see the blown call in the Detroit Tigers/Cleveland Indians game last night, a call that lost the pitcher a place in history in terms of perfect games? I feel bad for the pitcher, Armando Galarraga, but also for first base umpire Jim Joyce, who realized his mistake after the game when he watched the replay.

As a result of what happened last night, there’s a debate swirling about whether or not there should be instant replays allowed in MLB. I know they allow it in post-season play, but not during the regular season. Do you think they should allow it during the regular season – perhaps like they do in the NFL where you get two challenges per game? Do you think the MLB should be allowed to “overrule” an umpire’s call in situations like this? Or do you believe the system should be left as is?

Armando Galarraga covers first base

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga covers first base as Cleveland Indians Jason Donald hits the bag and first base umpire Jim Joyce looks on in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Joyce called Donald safe and Galarraga lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning on the disputed call at first base. Detroit won 3-0.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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17 Responses to “Thursday Open Thread – plus: debate about MLB instant replay options”


  1. NC Cop says:

    I could not believe this call! I know the ump is human, and he did apologize, but I think instant replay should be used for cases like this.

    I don’t want to see replay on every close play, but when you are talking about making history, I think its needed.

  2. Carlos says:

    Even with instant replay, there are going to be cases of disputed calls.

    The problem here isn’t instant replay, but with a culture (baseball) that says umps can’t be wrong. Ever. Kinda like being a liberal, an ump just flat-out can’t be wrong, no matter what the evidence.

    The trick for IR is to make sure that what’s already a slow game (I love it, but understand why my wife hates it) isn’t moved to watching grass grow.

    And as a sidenote, I have no idea what the ump was watching, but it certainly wasn’t the play. Or he couldn’t get the argument he had w/his significant other out of his mind for this play. Or he was wondering where he would eat that night.

    I do agree with Gallaragas’ teammates, though, that they participated in a perfect game in spite of the ump’s call.

  3. Paul says:

    Umpires are human-as such they can and do make mistakes. This particular bad call has entered baseball lore forever. It was a perfect game. :)

  4. Zippy says:

    I agree with NC Cop. Even the Ump saw his own mistake.

    LOL Carlos. I like the way you added the ‘kinda like being a liberal’ haha so true!

  5. bill glass says:

    Hope Bud Selig corrects this mistake. This one is a no-brainer!

  6. Carlos says:

    Zippy – when I make analogies, I try to be as accurate and graphic as possible, and I can’t think of another example that exemplifies “never being wrong” as much as liberals.

  7. Great White Rat says:

    It’s not the umpire’s fault he blew the call. George Bush is behind this somehow. :-?

  8. Anthony says:

    I’m a supporter of replay in the NFL, but, as it’s implemented now, it slows the game to a crawl as the referees or the booth second-guesses (it feels like) every decision and spot. I’d be against it in baseball, already a slow game, unless it’s use was closely restricted and limited to obvious injustices, such as the Galarraga case.

  9. Zippy says:

    @ Carlos: Just love the way you executed it.. the perfect segue!

    LOL GWR..who would have guessed?

  10. Instant replay probably wouldn’t be practical for baseball but Bud Selig always has the option in extraordinary circumstances to reverse a call like this one. Galarraga deserves his historical perfect game.

  11. Old Goat says:

    A couple of things… first, the only instant replay currently is for home run calls, and it isn’t limited to the post season.

    How would you ever be able to implement instant replay without massive rules changes? How do you determine cases when others are on the bases?

    This should also be looked at in one other way before declaring that the Commissioner, Selig, should reverse the call making it a perfect game; would you take away the perfect game if review of the play showed that the runner was safe and the umpire took him out? How about if you saw a batter being struck out on a pitch that was over 10 inches off the plate, yet it was part of a “perfect” game? If its OK to change it to make history (which Galarraga did in any event) to benefit one player, it would then stand to reason that a bad call that aided the perfect game should be enough to remove it from ever having happened.

    If you look to limit instant replay to calls, then it would have to lead to balls and strikes, as moving strike zones can and have changed the outcome of games, as well as how the batters have to react, getting them out of their game.

    The media is the main source pushing for instant replay, without regard to how all the rules will have to be changed to reflect the handling of every situation that would need reviewed. This same group are whining constantly about the pace of the game. So what would be after that? Mercy rules?

    This is in part a reflection of today’s video game mentality, the same liberal thinking that has no winners as losers get trophies as well.

    Where the work needs to be done is in the umpire training and staffing. While there is grading of umpires, it never leads to them being dismissed from their job. Heck, it hasn’t even stopped poorly graded umpires from being in the post season (even though its supposed to).

  12. Chris in NC says:

    Why couldn’t the other umps call a meet and greet with the first base ump and reverse his call? Certainly they had to see he blew it too, right?

  13. Tom TB says:

    Well, WE all know it was a perfect game; time for the old blind umpire jokes…

  14. Carlos says:

    Actually, his blown call will make this game last longer in memory than if he hadn’t blown it. After all, can anyone name the last two pitchers (without looking it up!) who threw perfect games? And that was just this year!

    The only perfect game etched into long-term memory is the WS game in ’57, and most people today couldn’t even tell you who the pitcher was for that one, either (Don Newcombe, for those who pretend to remember).

    This way, Gallaragas gets more attention longer and, after a totally unremarkable career, will be remembered more for this than anything else.

  15. Tom TB says:

    Carlos, I agree. Of course there wouldn’t be a perfect game without a pefect team; meaning that the infield and outfielders are error free. I wonder how many people have left the stadium to beat the traffic out of the parking lot when it’s say 7-0 at the top of the 9th; and missed witnessing history in the making?

  16. JakeG says:

    First of all, what is not being noted is the complete classy-ness (word?) of both Galarraga and the Ump. You would think that Galarraga would have lit up like a powder keg, but he didn’t. He kept his composure. And the Ump, understood immediately that he made the wrong call and apologized. Baseball, football, sports in general, have a way of creating defining moments you can learn from, and I’m not just talking about good sportsmanship. Both of these men show the caliber required to be players and officiators in the public eye, despite the mistake. And like Carlos said, this play, however wrong, will live longer in the memories of true baseball fans, than the stats themselves. When you see so many atheletes acting like complete idiots, its nice to know that there is still class among some of our children’s (and adults)heros. And hell, Galarraga got a Corvette out of it! Good sportsmanship is always rewarded.

  17. Kate says:

    All this was on the heels of the perfect game on Saturday….by the Phillies and that was the second perfect game of this season. So this would have been the third perfect game of the year and only in June….hey are these pitchers mesmerizing the hitters or what!

    I think this is a case for a asterisk in the record book…an otherwise perfect game, but an imperfect call. That’s human. That’s baseball.