And until Wednesday night, I opposed the notion of allowing instant replay review of blown calls. Now I’m having second thoughts about that.
First-base umpire Jim Joyce’s call of a runner being “safe” ruined Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga’s perfect game. The call involved the 27th hitter the pitcher faced. The previous 26 batters had been retired. The hitter hit a grounder to the first baseman, who had to cover some ground to field the ball; he tossed it to Galarraga, who was covering the bag. The throw beat the runner to the base by about a third of a step — but Joyce called the runner safe.
The call didn’t ruffle the pitcher. He smiled, obviously in disbelief, and then retired the next batter to end the game. Joyce viewed the replay after the game and did the unbelievable: He admitted his mistake and apologized to Galarraga, who then accepted Joyce’s apology by telling him “Nobody’s perfect.”
Have I changed my mind completely on the instant replay? Not entirely. I’m just giving it some thought, whereas before I would dismiss the notion out of hand.
But here’a another thought: Maybe Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig can consider reversing Joyce’s call. Reversing the call would have no impact on the outcome of the game. The next batter was out anyway. Just remove the final batter’s at-bat, take away the hit that was erroneously awarded by the umpire’s big mistake.
The 3-0 Detroit victory over Cleveland still stands — and a gracious young man gets his perfect game.