Friday, June 04, 2010

Bud, Don't Do It


Jim Joyce. If this guy is still alive, I’m willing to bet good money that he still feels like an absolute turd. You all know what happened. Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from pitching a perfect game. The out was made, but Joyce called the runner safe. Tears were shed, Joyce felt bad, Galarraga probably felt worse, put it on a Hallmark card and move on.

Despite missing out on the glory of pitching a perfect game, the fans new he pitched a perfect game, he knows he pitched a perfect game, Joyce knows (in hindsight) he had pitched a perfect game, and then he was given a car. No, Seriously. A red Corvette. I’m going to feel a little less bad for him the next time I get into my SHITMOBILE car with no air conditioning and horrifying sounds.

Moving on.

This incident has started a debate of epic proportions. Should instant replay play a bigger role in the MLB?

The simple answer? Oh God, please no.

You see, I’ve had a hard time getting into baseball this year. Perhaps this is a result of my mind being taken over by faster paced sports like lacrosse and hockey, or perhaps it’s just because the thought of two or three crotchety old men debating a call makes me want to bleed out in my bathtub. Listen, human error sucks, but it exists in all sports. You could make the argument that all other professional sports make use of instant replay for questionable plays, but all other professional sports (I’m thinking NFL, MLB, NLL, etc.) are timed. The quarter or period ends when the buzzer goes off. Innings don’t have to end. Ever. They go until three batters are out. The amount of time the catcher and pitcher talk isn’t given a time frame either. Say the Red Sox are playing the Yankees. One inning has reached almost 30 minutes, and that’s without anyone going to chat up the pitcher at the mound. Then, in that same endless inning, a questionable call is made. The umps have to walk over to where ever they are supposed to congregate, and then have an obnoxious debate. Something that should take 30 seconds takes 7 minutes. I mean, the instant replay is already used to check the validity of home run calls and we all know how long that takes. Do you really want to give someone like Joe West the chance to review other plays? Dear God, the man would say the opposite of all the other umps just to be a contrarian and to have the opportunity to hold a press conference afterwards.

What happened to Armando Galarraga is awful. As an athlete, as someone who makes their living playing for perfection, missing out on the chance to be a part of the elite club of only 20 other pitchers to have pitched a perfect game is a serious downer. Even if everyone else acknowledges it, the MLB doesn’t, and that’s what counts. Bud Selig should have reversed the call and declared that a perfect game. Instead, he’s entertaining the idea of instant replay in a sport with no time regulation, a sport where an average game is 3 hours, and a sport with umps that are turning into divas. It’s just easier for everyone if Selig takes it upon himself to overturn calls that are blatantly wrong himself. And even then, he should only be doing that if the call has changed the outcome of the game, or, like in the case of Galarraga, cost a pitcher a perfect game.

Please Bud, spare me 5 hours baseball games. Hell, at least spare baseball fans from those horrible pink hats being able to get even more drunk at games.

Samantha Lewis is a conference production assistant by day and a sports blogger by night. She has the attention span on a 5 year old. You can read more from her at Beantown Athletic Supporters or follow her on Twitter here.

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