I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a baseball fan. I’ve always wanted to be, but it just isn’t in my blood to follow all the stats and players. But with my son playing Little League, my interest has spiked considerably. It is such a beautiful game — all the waiting, with sudden intricate action, the strategy, and of course the whole ethos that has grown up around it. So, with this growing interest, I’ve followed a bit of the flap over the umpire’s blown call in the recent game between the Tigers and Indians. The Tigers’ pitcher, Armando Galarraga, would have pitched a perfect game had it not been for the umpire’s call that a runner was safe at first. But as you watch the news videos, a few things become very clear (well, according to my own ignorant perspective): (1) the umpire, Jim Joyce, is man enough to say when he’s wrong, and fess up to the consequences of his mistake; (2) Armando Galarraga is an exemplar of grace; (3) the worst thing baseball could do would be to allow instant replays to figure into the game, as that would remove opportunity to display the virtues of Joyce and Galarraga.
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Interesting thoughts Charlie. I’m a bit torn about it. I think the commissioner should give the guy the perfect game out of principle and since both were man enough to be humble about it. Still, while it is just a game and virtue has won the day (more than can be said about San Diego’s reaction to Ed Hochuli a few years ago, and the NBA’s infallibility with its refs) do you think the purity of the sport is improved by not allowing review? Some claim that for football (ticky tacky rule application) while basketball refs don’t remotely care. Do you think the opportunity in the game to show virtue after a mistake helps the game more than correcting the mistake? I can see both sides.
Glad you’ve found the sport through your kids too. I love it but in limited amounts (seasons way too long, Kleiner and others pulling out bizarre stats that I never understand), but I enjoy the intensity of faceoffs between pitcher batter or pitcher duels (Clemens Schilling from the World Series 9 years ago comes first to mine) and I like the romance of it all. I think it really gets what Hockey can’t seem to (intense local appeal along with national television audience) and the barely-a-sport tennis wishes it could (great mix of physical intensity and toughness with brains).