Thursday, June 3, 2010

(Im)Perfect Game

This one is easy. You are the Commissioner of Baseball. The buck stops with you. Yesterday a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers pitched a perfect game - up to the last out. On the final play of the game the batter hit an infield ground ball and ran to first base. He was out. Replay showed he was out. The umpire said he was out - later. Everyone could see he was out. But he wasn't. The umpire called him safe at the moment of the play. Only hit of the game. Perfect game gone. No hitter gone. Later on the umpire admitted he made a mistake. He hugged the pitcher and told him he was sorry. He cried.

A perfect game is a big deal in baseball. There have only been around 20 of them ever. So, what does baseball do? Admit the umpire made a mistake and award the pitcher a perfect game. Makes perfect sense. Except Commissioner Selig, in another of his bone headed decisions, said No, he would not reverse the call. Why? Was it to preserve some traditional value in the game: umpire's decisions are final. Even if they are wrong. Even if everyone knows it. Even if it costs a pitcher a well earned perfect game. Baseball just lost more credibility. Fantasy leagues have taken over the local ballparks.