I Say Call It a Perfect Game

I am of course referring to the game last night in Detroit with the now infamous blown call by umpire Jim Joyce that denied Tigers hurler Armando Gallaraga a perfect game.  Frankly, I don’t think that Commissioner Selig has to “overturn” the call on the field or anything like that.  The runner was ruled safe leave that be.  Just have the game entered into the history books as a perfect game anyway.  Make it a 9 inning, 28 batter perfect game.

Sound crazy?  Its not really.  This is Major League Baseball’s record book we are talking about here.  This is the place where for decades the single season home run record was 60, even though there was a guy that had hit 61.  This is the record book where the single season RBI record was bumped from 190 to 191 something like 70 years after Hack Wilson played.  This is the record book where no hitters were removed years/decades later because the pitcher didn’t work 9 innings, removed even though it was a complete game under the rules.  This is a sport where a 9th inning was re-played after the American League President re-decided an umpire’s decision that George Brett had pine tar too far up his bat.

And, this would not even be the first imperfect perfect game in the record books.  I remind you of Ernie Shore who once pitched a perfect game when the 1st runner of the game reached base by walking.  Babe Ruth walked that hitter and got ejected for arguing the call.  Shore came in, picked the runner off, and then retired all 26 batters he faced.  The minimum number of batters (in a losing effort and a full game*) appeared, but a runner reached base which would fail it as a perfect game.  Yet its a perfect game.  No reason Galarraga’s game last night can’t be too.

Of course, this all could have been prevented if MLB had replay for more than the odd disputed home run call.  Baseball will be dragged kicking and screaming but a more expansive use of replay I think is a fait accompli; we just need to have the details worked out.

*the home team could win a 9 inning game with 25 batters appearing.  Tied at zero the minimum number of batters thru 8 and then the leadoff hitter in the 9th hits a walk off home run, or at least reaches base and scores before the 2nd batter of the inning puts the ball in play

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