Unless you live under a rock, you know that Tigers pitcher, Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game by umpire, Jim Joyce on Wednesday night. Joyce has since apologized to Galarraga, the Tigers, Major League Baseball, and the fans. Joyce was even seen crying before today’s Tigers game.  Today, the Commissoner’s Office reviewed the tape from the game and upheld Joyce’s blown call. In my opinion, Selig made the right decision….

LA Times

If Selig over-turned this call, does he have the power to over-turn the call in the 1996 ALCS? In Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, the Yankees trailed the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3 in the 8th inning. Derek Jeter stepped to the plate and hit a deep fly ball to right field. Right fielder, Tony Tarasco jumped up against the wall to catch the ball, but fan, Jeff Maier reached over the fence and snatched the ball away. The umpires ruled it as a Jeter home run, tying the game. Upon first glance, it didn’t appear too drastic, but after the video replay, it was blatantly obvious. The Yankees went on to win that game and later in October, captured their first World Series title in 18 years. So if Selig over-turned the Galarraga call, the Orioles have a legit case to go to Selig and ask for the call to be corrected. The video is obvious and they stand corrected. This process, however, would lead to a vicious cycle within the game.

If Selig over-turned the perfect game play, what about every umpire error during each game? Umpires constantly call balls strikes when baseball has set a defined strike zone. So should we just stop the game and replay the pitch when the umpire makes a ball call? Or even better yet, let’s just get rid of the umpires and have robots call the games. There no longer would be missed calls. That wouldn’t be baseball, though.

To me, Galarraga’s 27th out is no different than any other out in any other game. Perception is the only thing in play. Each out counts the same and human error is present in every facet of the game. As much as we want David Wright or Alex Rodriguez to hit a home run in every at-bat, it just won’t happen. This is what makes baseball so great.

The human element of the game makes baseball so intriguing. If baseball were played by a bunch of robots, no one would watch the games. If umpires were replaced by robots, the epic Ozzie Guillen, Bobby Cox tirades would be over. We watch sports to see what will happen next. Who will screw up next? Who will pitch the next perfect game? If anything, this blown call is a great thing for baseball…

How many people will start to flip through their channels looking for ‘the next perfect game’? How many people will tune into Galarraga’s next start? How many people felt the pain and remorse from Jim Joyce? These are all emotions that we feel when we watch baseball. Retracting this call was not the right move and I think Selig recognized it. However, the backlash has already begun…

People have been screaming for more video replay in baseball and that’s not the right answer. Due to their fast-paced nature, football and hockey need instant replays. One football game is 6.25% of a team’s season, further needing more video replay to justify each suspect call. Each baseball game is less than 0.5%. Baseball plays at a much more calculated pace. No clocks, no worries, just three hours of fun. I agree with the instant replay home-run calls, but that should be the extend of the influence. After watching roughly 100 games so far this year, I’ve only seen that utilized three times. The umpires are pretty quick with their decisions as well, but video-replay on ‘bang-bang’ base running plays? Checking the video replay to see if a second baseman touched second base on a double play? This is all so silly.  Plus, the same people are screaming for instant replay are also complaining about game lengths. If there was even more instant replay, games would last four, five hours.

Baseball has been built on successes and failures. Hitters who fail seven out of ten times are considered successful. Pitchers who give up three runs over seven innings are deemed ‘quality’. Where else does that happen in life? Chalk Joyce’s mistake up in the failure column. It’s not totally his fault, he’s human and Bud Selig recognized it.