While there’s no need to reiterate the botched call by first base umpire Jim Joyce in yesterday’s should-have-been perfect game by Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga, I will. One out away from a pitcher’s ultimate personal feat, Galarraga allowed an infield hit to Indians short stop Jason Donald. A scene that will run through the minds of players, fans and media for a long, long time. Especially, Armando Galarraga’s. It was a close call at first base, however, Donald was clearly out on all replays. Even if Joyce realizes his error, an apology will accomplish nothing. Major League Baseball has no recourse system in place in situations like this. So what really was the third perfect game in MLB this year, ends up going in the books as a one-hit shutout.
This game could have and should have been a life-changing and career-changing event for Galarraga. A game that could ultimately cost Galarraga millions in revenue, from bonuses to endorsements to signings. A simple review of the controversial call could solve everything.
So, what is it going to take to get Instant Replay implemented on more than just home run calls?
I’m not asking for a review of every called third strike on a hitter or every caught stealing of a base-runner. But if the call is going to have an immediate and direct impact on the outcome of the game (or the score of the game), it must be reviewed. For example, Instant Replay should be used on plays at the plate, to determine if the run will count or not. In fact, a play involving scoring in any fashion must use the replay. Conversely, if a runner is thrown out trying to steal second, no replay is necessary, because no run will result directly from the call being overturned. Other events would have to follow the runner being called safe at second for a run to score. The run depends on more than just the safe/out call at second base, such as a base hit, etc. And there is no guarantee that the runner being called safe would ultimately lead to a run scored.
In any event, a heartfelt congratulations to Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga on his perfect game! You did it and you deserved it!!