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And Another Thing

Associated Press
Armando Galarraga covers first base as Jason Donald runs to the base and umpire Jim Joyce watches in the ninth inning.

The Call

First things first this morning, as GamesWorld dissects, re-dissects, re-re-dissects and generally reduces to bloody hash the blown call by umpire Jim Joyce on the 27th out that cost Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers a perfect game last night.

Bud Selig should release a simple four-word statement on the matter: "I ain't goin' there."

Meaning, no way should he invoke his commissioner super powers and, in the interests of righting an egregious wrong, reverse the call and restore Galarraga's perfecto, no matter how much he'd like to. Or no matter what this fool says.

Couple of things:

1. No matter how strenuously Selig would say this was a special one-time only decision, not intended to set a precedent, it would still set a precedent. He doesn't have the power to decide that. Simply by acting, he would set a precedent. And you can bet the next time something like this happened -- and it will, because this is baseball and nothing ever happens just once in baseball -- Selig's decision to act in this case would come into play in that case. It just would.

2. Human error is part of the game. It always has been and it always will be; even with instant replay, they still blow calls in the NFL and college football. So even if baseball decides to expand instant replay because of this -- and I guarantee you it will -- Selig refusing to step in and reverse an umpire's call on the field is simply the commissioner bowing to tradition in a sport that clings to tradition more stubbornly than any other.

All that said, at least one good thing came out of this: We got an up-close look at how to act like a man.

Certainly Joyce did, personally seeking out Galarraga to apologize and then making a near-tearful mea culpa to the media. It should be required reading/viewing/listening for every ump in the majors as to how a major league umpire should behave.

Same goes for Galarraga. His gracious reaction to what had to be the most bitter of disappointments should be required reading/viewing/listening for every player in the majors as to how a major-league ballplayer should behave.

Here's what Joyce said. Here's what Galarraga said.

And just for the irony ... here's what Don Denkinger said.

Ben Smith's blog.