Bad Call Is Sad End To Detroit Tigers Pitcher Armando Galarraga's "Perfect" Game

USA v Venezuela - World Baseball Classic Tornoto Day 2

As a former gymnast, I am no stranger to the imperfections of "judging" what should happen, according to the rules, in an athletic competition. It is part and parcel of the subjectivity of the gymnastics arena, as well as in just about any sport you can imagine.

I mean life is not always going to be fair and sometimes the best does not always win. There is never any guarantee in sports, or in life for that matter, no matter how hard one works, how well one plays, how excellently a performance is judged, or a game is umpired.

That is the nature of sport, is it not?

Then comes along a very rare situation, a chance for sports immortality.

The scene was a major league baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The pitcher for the Tigers was Armando Galarraga, and he was set to finish off Cleveland without allowing anyone on base - yep, a perfect game.

How special is that?

To my best researching ability, there have only been 20 perfect games pitched in major league baseball history. You heard that right - only 20, and that is in well over 100 years of baseball, spanning two centuries. That is how rare it is.  

Houston Astros vs St. Louis Cardinals

It was in the top of the ninth inning when Galarraga faced Indians' short stop Jason Donald. Jason took a poke at Galarraga's 3rd pitch, hitting a ground ball to the right of Tigers' first baseman Miguel Cabrera who fielded the ball and rifled it to Galarraga who had moved to cover the vacated first base.

Galarraga made the catch as he stepped on first base, Donald crosses the base, and umpire Jim Joyce calls Donaldson.........SAFE???

No matter where I looked, what video I found, the angle either the video or photo was shot from (nor the speed at which the video replay was played), they all showed the same thing to my eye, that Donaldson was clearly OUT - Bad Call!!!

See for yourself


As strongly as I feel that life is not fair, mistakes are made, and that we must all learn to live with disappointment even when it is not fair - in this case, especially with the MLB rule that home runs can be reevaluated for bad calls using replay, the right thing to do would be to overturn the call made this past Wednesday night and award Mr. Galarraga the 21st perfect game in MLB history, and the immortality he so deserves.

Now I am not one who would support the review of every play in baseball where there might be a discrepancy in a call. That would certainly play havoc in a game where calls must be made and decisions upheld. That type of continuity is important in baseball, as well as in competitive sports as a whole.

However, in a situation as obvious as this, Bud Selig may want to reevaluate his original decision to leave the call stand. I am fairly certain the genuinely remorseful and tearful umpire Jim Joyce, after viewing the tape, would agree with that call.

What is your take?


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