Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 3 June 2010

To Err

if you follow sports at all, and especially if you have a warm place in your heart for baseball like i do, then you know by now that a perfect game happened only it didn’t last night. although i’m sad for Galarraga – it’s true, you don’t get many chances at a perfect game – this is being blown way out of proportion.

i am virulently, unabashedly opposed to instant replay in baseball. call me a purist. or a zealot. but i take an all-or-nothing approach to the sport. all human umpire or all automated technology, i say. and i prefer a person making the call, right or wrong. why? frankly, umpires get it right in high-pressure fast-paced situations most of the time. look at the stats on balls and strikes; they’re impressive. plus, it’s a baseball game. disappointment is a perfectly appropriate response (and it should be noted that both Joyce and Galarraga have acted commendably). but no one died. no one was injured.  a blown call is not the end of anything except a game. why is it that umpires are held to higher standards of accountability for errors of judgment than military generals and oil execs?

when it comes down to it, i prefer my baseball with some good old-fashioned human error in the mix.  had Galarraga struck out the last batter, there would be no story. Joyce called it as he saw it. he apologized for his mistake. that’s the best any of us can hope to do in this life.



  1. I totally agree. Worthy or not, it would be a weird precedent to set, overturning an umpire’s call after the fact and especially in a regular season game in which the win/loss is unaffected.

    There are a lot of emotions tied up in the decision (the umpired *cried* – that doesn’t happen often) so I understand the appeal of changing it, to get it “right.” But for those who want to edit the game so that the hallowed record books show the version of history they want: to what end? Is the purpose is to give Galarraga his due, or so that people will remember what he did? If so, I think it’s been firmly established that what he did was remarkable and worthy, and much, much more has been written about this game than any other perfect game since Whitey Ford’s. People are going to remember this perfect-o a lot longer than Dallas Braden’s, I can guarantee that. So check, and check, on both counts.

  2. let’s not even talk about the “hallowed” record books. hello – dead ball era? steroids? record books are just a storytelling device, really.

    good call on people remembering.

    also, since someone has to say it, there is crying in baseball.

  3. It just occurred to me that, for some reason, I wrote Whitey Ford instead of who I was actually thinking of, Don Larsen. To err, indeed.

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