Thursday, June 3, 2010

6/3: My Take On The Jim Joyce Incident

It's definitely been an interesting few days in Baseball. Roy Halladay threw a perfect game on Saturday night in a 1-0 win over the Marlins. Even though this happened less than a week ago, it still feels like a distant memory in the context of what has happened this week. It turns out, its pretty easy to do well in Fantasy Baseball if you happen to have the pitcher who threw a perfect's even better when you also have a pitcher who threw a 1-hit shutout the night before. However, tonight I am not here to talk about what happened last weekend.

Speaking of 1-hit shutouts. Armando Gallaraga threw one last night. Unless you have been under a rock for the last 24 hours, you would already know that it could have (and should have been) a lot more than a 1-hit shutout. Of course, Gallaraga's game should have been much more (being the third perfect game in 2010 joining 209 Braden and Doc Halladay).

A few thoughts on this matter:

1) If nothing else, Jim Joyce has conducted himself like a pro:

In a season where many umpires have called teams disgraces to baseball and charged after pitchers, Jim Joyce showing some common sense has been a breath of fresh air. He manned up to his mistake, admitted he was wrong and has said/done all the right things in the aftermath (just imagine how much uglier this situation would be if Joe West would have been the umpire.)

2) This is likely to bring instant replay to baseball on a full scale:

This seems to fulfill (to most people) the doomsday scenario that having instant replay in baseball would avoid. While it would have been nice to have another perfect game on the record, its not like this call cost the Tigers the game.

Anyways, having instant replay on a full scale would be bad for baseball. This would open up a pandora's box of when replay is applied and when replay isn't. Is it going to get to the point where its used to dispute every ball that is on the fringe of the strike zone? Is it used to validate each and every play? Will it be possible to finish a game in under 10 hours to satisfy all the replay advocates?

3) Reversing the ruling to change it to a perfect game would have set a DANGEROUS precedent:

As much as I dislike Bud Selig and as reluctant as I am to say anything positive about him ever, I do have to concede that he made the right call by holding up the ruling. Seriously, if this call would have been reversed it would give the perception that you could arbitrarily re-write the history of the game.

Take this unrealistic scenario for example: Joyce's blown call was compared to the blown call in the 1985 World Series. What if in the aftermath of this reversed call, they decide to reverse the Don Denkinger call that was seen as the turning point of the World Series. Seriously, would they have them replay the rest of Game 6 (and Game 7 if need be 25 years later?).

Seriously, it would take at least a couple years to convince people that the Royals were a respectable team once (let alone play in and win a World Series). When you look at the Royals these days George Brett ain't walking through that door, Bret Saberhagen ain't walking through that door, Frank White ain't walking through that door.

Going down I-70 to St. Louis.....while the Cardinals are still competitive the likes of Todd Worell, Terry Pendelton and Jack Clark have one thing in common? They ain't walking through that door.

In all seriousness though, if last night's call gets reversed, we'll be stuck with more re-plays, re-dos and mulligans that we won't get to the playoffs till January. If the 1990s have the black eye of Steroids, this reversal would have ushered in the 2010s era of the mulligan.

Does this sound like fun? I didn't think so. I already made the next point but i'll do it again, while we did get deprived of some history and that is disappointing the big picture is that ULTIMATELY WINNING THE GAME IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOW IT IS WON AND THIS MISTAKE DID NOT COST THE TIGERS THE GAME. Now all I can do is sit and hope that the reaction over this mistake is not used to have the machines (instant replay) become a disgrace to the game.

1 comment:

  1. I firmly disagree. The call should be reversed. In-game instant replay should be broadly implemented. In the case of a team playing under protest and eventually winning that protest a game can be replayed and this wouldn't be any different. Any time there is an egregious injustice there must always be a way to correct it. If I'm commish, I do whatever I can to fix this and keep this from ever happening again. To hell with "Pandora's box."