Braves 2, Phillies 1

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 02, 2010 – ESPN.

Wow, the Phillies really are in trouble. Eight innings of one-run ball against Derek Lowe? I’m afraid this case might be terminal.

The Braves got a run in the first on a GIDP by Chipper, which I’m afraid was a little too typical of the early innings. Glaus doubled leading off the third but was erased on a lineout double play from Escobar, and Lowe walked in the third but was stranded. The Phillies tied it up in the top of the third when they got four straight hits off of Lowe, and had the bases loaded, one out, with Utley at the plate. He grounded into a double play. And the Phillies got only two more hits, a single in the fourth and another in the eighth, off of Lowe.

The Braves, however, weren’t doing any better. But after Kyle Kendrick was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth, Manuel went to his closer, Contreras, who somehow walked McLouth. Melky came on for the inevitable pinch-bunt (sheesh). Prado struck out, and they walked Heyward intentionally, as Infante was in for Chipper after the latter left the game with a sore finger. And Omar delivered, singling in McLouth to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. Wagner got Utley and Howard, walked the next guy, then got a strikeout of Victorino to end it.

247 thoughts on “Braves 2, Phillies 1”

  1. does Chipper not get an RBI on the GIDP? Box score doesnt show but one RBI during the game

  2. From last thread:

    If Johan Santana and Chris Carpenter win tonight, the Braves are tied for the lead of the National League.

    I’d rather have Santana take the loss and the Mets fall back another 1/2 game than have the “lead of the National League” on June 2. Separation from the division is more important than jockeying for potential playoff seeding right now.

  3. thanks – was thinking that was the case. Just think that if a pitcher gets an ER someone should receive credit for an RBI

    edit : I want the mets to lose every game they play

  4. edit : I want the mets to lose every game they play

    It is okay to root for the Mets to win if they are playing a team within the division that is closer to Atlanta than they are.

  5. Sam – no it’s not. You can pull for the team playing the Mets to lose, but never pull for the Mets to win.

  6. Zombie Chipper’s ring finger may have rotted off, but it sure is nice to see Zombie Lowe rise from the dead. GROUNDBALLSSSSSS… STRIKEOUTSSSSSS…

  7. Excellent line today from Lowe. I’ve been tough on him but to his credit he’s had some good outings of late.

    The Phillies have the look of a team that has lost its mojo. You could see some doubt in them in this series. It will be interesting to see the impact Rollins has on them when he returns, not just from a performance standpoint but with his leadership.

  8. It seems that semi-intentional walking of Braves has become ineffective as next man up has begun ro punish opposing teams.

  9. OMG am I really reading this? Just got home and saw the score, made my whole day!

  10. derek lowe is on pace for a 22 win season which begs the question, who is the worst 20 game winner in the last 40 year? i dont know the answer but i figure someone here would know.

  11. Probably Stan Bahnsen in 1972, 21-16 with a 3.60 ERA in an extremely low run context; his ERA+ was 88. Jack Morris (boo!) in 1992 was 21-6 with an ERA+ of 102.

    My job requires that I catalog the following item:

  12. Rick Helling would be up there. He was 20-7 in 1998, with a 4.41 ERA. Of course, because it was Texas in the height of the steroid ERA, that was a 109 ERA+. For his career, he was 93-81 with a 4.68 ERA.

    Bahnsen has the worst ERA+ of any 20-game winner of the last 40 years. Helling has the worst ERA of any 20-game winner of the last 40 years.

    Just for sheer pitching ugly, though, Mike Torrez’s 1975 makes you scratch your head: 20-9 with a 3.06 ERA, but 119 K against a league-leading 133 walks, for a remarkable K/BB of 0.89. For his career, Torrez had a K/BB of 1.02, Jim Palmer had a K/BB of 1.69, and Mike Cuellar had a K/BB of 1.99. One of the best three-man rotations ever, and not a single one of them had a strikeout-to-walk ratio above 2.

  13. dodger and d’backs in extras and it’s 0-0 in the 12th. the dodgers have already used 6 pitchers. WEAR’EM OUT D’BACKS!

  14. Judging by ERA+, Mac is correct. There have only been two 20+ win seasons in the last 40 years in which the pitchers ERA+ was less than 100 (or league average):

    Bahnsen, 1972 21-16, 88 ERA+
    Joe Niekro, 1980 20-12, 93 ERA+

    Bryant was at 109, which was pretty low.

    Edit: I love BBRef season finder….

  15. A few other things… Bahnsen pitched in 43 games, with 41 starts, the next year he lost 21 games, and he was three games under .500 for a long career (146-149) and never received a single Cy Young vote. I feel pretty comfortable with him as the pick.

  16. Mac, are you putting the book under the “Drug” section?

    Some of you are now saying nice things about Roger and TP now, but I will keep lauding my man, Frank Wren. He is a god to me ever since the day he traded away Frenchy.

  17. Bad Analogy Alert
    IMO, trading Francoeur was like finally firing an employee you knew was probably stealing from you, but you were just too lame to confront him.

    And with that—I’m listening to the Mets—Francoeur pops up.

  18. @25 Ububba, no one dared to touch Frenchy back then. JS and Bobby babied him to death. I will forever be grateful for Wren trading away Frenchy so spare us from the misery of watching him play every day.

    Also, I am shocked that Bobby actually knows the difference between a sweep and winning a series!!!

    “Today was a big game,” Cox said. “We gain three on them instead of one. We lose today, we gain one. We win today we gain three. Today was a huge game for us to win.”

  19. Manager Charlie Manuel was livid at his team, saying the players have shown no sense of urgency to end their slide. He showed his displeasure before the game when he spotted several of them gathered around a television, watching the movie “Gran Torino.” He ordered the clubbies to shut it off.

    That didn’t stop the Phillies from losing their fourth in a row and ninth in 11 games. They haven’t scored more than three runs during that span.

    “I see a whole lot of cockiness and big-headedness and complacency,” Manuel said. “Just because we did something last year doesn’t mean we’re going to do it this year.”


  20. Stole the words out of my mouth, Mac.

    How’s the health? I havent been around much.

  21. I generally like Manuel, but every time I see him, I recall the incident a few years ago (2007?) when he went nose-to-nose with a Philly writer after an early-season loss.

    In the semi-fracas, the scribe said: “Grow up, Charlie.”

    His response: “I done growed up!”

  22. garret anderson, o for 5 and batting .147 until the 14th, strokes a single to win it for the dodgers. with that hit, his average rocketed to .157 and his rbi total is at a robust 7. needless to say, he’s a stud.

  23. Helluva career.

    Will never forget Griffey’s demolition of the Yanks in the ’95 ALDS—5 HRs in 5 games.

    Watching him back then, I couldn’t imagine ever seeing a better player.

  24. Again?

    Perfect Game Alert: Detroit’s Armando Galarraga perfect through 7 IP against Cleveland.

    Edit: Make that 8 IP. Going to the 9th, 24 up, 24 down.

  25. Semi-probable to probable match ups for the road trip from hell:

    Thursday, June 3 — Hiroki Kuroda vs. Kris Medlen
    Friday, June 4 — Clayton Kershaw vs. Kenshin Kawakami
    Saturday June 5 — Chad Billingsley vs. Tommy Hanson
    Sunday, June 6 — John Ely vs. Tim Hudson
    Monday, June 7 — Dann Haren vs. Derek Lowe
    Tuesday, June 8 — Edwin Jackson vs. Kris Medlen
    Wednesday, June 9 — Ian Kennedy vs. Kenshin Kawakami
    Thursday, June 10 — Dontrelle Willis vs. Tommy Hanson
    Friday, June 11 — Francisco Liriano vs. Tim Hudson
    Saturday, June 12 — Nick Blackburn vs. Derek Lowe
    Sunday, June 13 — Kevin Slowey vs. Kris Medlen

    I’m predicting Resop will start June 8 or 13.

  26. At first glimpse, it seems the umpire blew the perfecto. You’re not going to believe this. Guy looked out at first & he called him safe.

    Too bad because you gotta see this Austin Jackson catch for Out #1 in the 9th. He looked like Willie Mays.

  27. Holy cow, perfect game blown by a horrible call by the first-base umpire. Not even close!

  28. The umpire missed the call on that infield single…blowing the perfect game on what would have been the 3rd out.

  29. Damn, damn, damn. Jim Joyce.


    On a bang-bang play like that on what would have been the THIRD OUT, what in the hell was Joyce thinking?

  30. That’s got to be the most disappointing 1-hitter of all time. I feel awful for Galarraga right now. I wonder how the ump is gonna feel after he sees the replays, though.

  31. I stood up and cheered at Jackson’s catch.

    Joyce is going to see the replay, and then he’s going to have to live with it.

  32. That was a terrible call, but I feel sympathy for Joyce. I umped co-rec softball games when I was in college and let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than it looks. And that was just co-rec softball. Not excusing him, but I have an idea of what his stomach feels like right now.

    I’m going to miss Junior. I wanted him to join the Braves last year, but I’m glad he went out a Mariner. Feels right.

  33. 54 — I sure hope so. There really isn’t any rational reason not to have it already when it’s been successful with football.

  34. Leyland, Cabrera, and Gerald Laird wanted a piece of Jim Joyce. That was a bizarre ending on the field.

    Blame Miguel Cabrera. That was the second baseman’s ball.

  35. And the retirement of the #5 home run hitter of all time is no longer the top story.

  36. mitch jones hit his 10th tonight and it wouldnt be the dumbest move in the world to give him a shot as a platoon partner for hinske, especially since chipper will be out a few days and infante will be covering third.

  37. If I were a Tigers fan, I would start a boycott of MLB until instant replay is instituted. It’s so obvious.

  38. oh my, that is a bad call. dont feel sorry for him. there’s no way in hell he should have missed a call that obvious.

    but my 2nd thought…what was miguel cabrera doing on a ball that was obviously meant for the second baseman?

  39. In defense of Cabrera, he is new to the position and he basically sucks at fielding anywhere. From his perspectivemwhat if he lets it go and the 2B misses it? He’d feel terrible. He made the play and the guy was out easily. The blame is 100% on Joyce here.

  40. Cabrera should probably have let it go, but it takes some serious discipline to run away from a ball you can glove in that situation. And he did make the play, after all.

    In other news, Mark Grudzielanek is still playing baseball!

  41. I don’t know anything about Galarraga, but he handled what is probably the biggest WTF moment of his life with poise and class.

  42. That whole ninth inning went the way it did because that was a perfect game.

    I think, in any other 3-0 game, Austin Jackson lays up and plays that as a double off the wall, rather than risking misplaying it into a triple. He makes that play because it’s a perfect game.

    Miguel Cabrera ranged too far, farther than he normally would, because it was a perfect game, and he wasn’t going to take the chance. And in his defense, HE MADE THE PLAY.

    And Joyce had probably been saying to himself all game that he wasn’t going to make a bum call, call someone out who had a legitimate hit, just because there was a perfect game going. I think it was Nolasco’s no-hitter (I said perfect game, originally), where the final out was a grounder to Hanley Ramirez, who double clutched, and threw carefully to first, and the runner beat the extra-careful throw, but the ump called him out anyway.

    I think sometime around the sixth, Joyce probably started telling himself that he wasn’t going to do that. And when that chance came, to be that umpire who errs on the side of the feel-good story, he already had himself talked in to calling the guy safe.

    I think you can understand calling a safe runner out, and you can understand calling a safe runner safe. It’s just unfortunate that he called an legitimately out runner safe.

  43. Jr. was one of my favorite players. I’m glad he went out now with a little dignity.

  44. I still play my copy of RBI Baseball for the Sega Genesis with Griffey on the cover. Best baseball game ever.

  45. Joyce after the game-

    “Biggest call of my career, and I kicked the shit out of it.”

    “I don’t know what to do. I just cost that kid a perfect game.”

    I’m finding that it’s a little harder to hate the guy than it was about an hour ago.

  46. Anyone know if we are at a low homer pace this season? Last I saw the league leader has 14.

  47. Offense has to be down in the entire league. Have you seen the pitching stats this year? It seems to be much better than I’ve seen in a long time. And it is all across the league. Maybe it just seems that way though.

  48. Man. Things like that, you wonder if there going to ‘go down in history.’ Will Gallaraga and Joyce be forever linked? Will people remember that?

  49. sdp, thanks. I meant league wide.

    79 – forgotten in a week. now if a bad call or incompetent umpiring affects the outcome of an important game,,,,,, Eric Gregg ring a bell?

  50. Here’s a bet: next time Joyce is behind the plate while Gallaraga is pitching, EVERYTHING is a strike. :-D

  51. Gotta say I respect Joyce as a man. Can’t say that for Bill Hohn, Joe West, Angel Hernandez…

  52. I guess if the commissioner’s office wanted to expand instant replay, one way to do it would be to create a terrible precedent by overruling the call, and then asking for help so they’d never have to do it again.

  53. I think Bud should also invalidate the Twins’ game 2 win in the ’91 series because of the blown Hrbek/Gant call. ’91 series is now a tie!

  54. No reason for this to be a problem.

    The Commissioner needs to step up and say, “The call was wrong. We have it on tape. It will be recorded as a Perfect Game, the 21st in Major League Baseball history. Congratulations, Mr. Galarraga.”

    Done. Tigers give Galarraga a nice little ceremony prior to their next home game and the fans go wild. It ain’t the same, but I’m sure he’d take it.

  55. What I don’t get is how it was called a hit. If the throw beat the runner to the bag but it pulled the 1st baseman off the bag isn’t this by definition an error? Can’t the official score be changed from a hit to an error? This would at least keep the no hitter in tact.

  56. I have to say that I think Jim Joyce is one of the best umpires in baseball, and have for awhile. In a league with a bunch of umpires who grandstand and headhunt for people to eject and just generally act like jackasses (Bill Hohn, Joe West, Angel Hernandez), Jim Joyce has always done his job professionally, and most of the time very well. He even acted very professional tonight. With the entire Tigers team coming after him after the game, he didn’t lose his cool and start kicking people out or screaming at them or whatever else. And then after the game, he not only admitted that he made the incorrect call and said that he didn’t blame anybody on the Tigers for anything they said to him, he went and apologized to Galarraga personally.

    There is no doubt that the call tonight was absolutely horrid. I have no idea what happened to Joyce, but given the situation, it is one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen.

    I guess my point, though, is that I hope we don’t lose sight of the real problem with the umpires and instead railroad one of the better umpires in the league. An example of this was what happened in the NFL a couple years ago, when Ed Hochuli (one of the best referees in that league) made a horrible call that cost the Chargers a game, and then refused to overturn the call after looking at it on instant replay because the rules didn’t allow him to. Except it seemed that the league would have preferred that he just BS a way to get the call overturned and spare them of the headache. And so in a league where half the referees didn’t even seem to know the rulebook from week to week, one of the best in the league was demoted and nearly fired because he made a single mistake and did know the rulebook, and therefore knew that he couldn’t overturn the call.

    I just hope that a similar thing doesn’t happen here. It’s a very unfortunate situation, but it was one mistake by a guy who’s generally one of the best umpires in the league, and who always carries himself professionally.

    And yes, it is time for expanded instant replay.

  57. The call was that the runner beat the throw. You don’t give an error because Cabrera couldn’t get to the ball fast enough.

  58. You can give an error if the throw beats the runner but the guy on the receiving end misses the base. But in this situation, I don’t think you can do that, because he didn’t miss the base. As Rob said, the call was that the runner beat the throw. I don’t think there’s anything else you can do.

  59. @85/86,

    Bush v. Gore* (2000) “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances…”

    You can’t tell me that precedent is more important to Major League Baseball than the Supreme Court of the United States.

    *without getting into the decision itself or any political discussion of it here, please

  60. FWIW, I’m glad to know that Joyce faced the situation & admitted fault. Nobody happy here, but what can you do?

    Not quite a Denkinger-level fiasco, but a fiasco nonetheless.

  61. Mitch Jones has 245 HRs in his minor league career.

    why has he never been called up? He blasted 39 HR one year in the Yankees system. 35 last year in the Dodger’s farm.

  62. David, no. There’s almost no chance he gets in, having played all his career in Coors Field, and there are a lot of 1Bs I think should get inducted ahead of him: Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, and probably Jim Thome, to say nothing of Albert Pujols.

    Helton was a fearsome hitter in his day, but he never finished higher than 5th in the MVP race, and he’ll likely finish with fewer than 400 homers despite playing in one of the greatest offensive parks of all time. I just don’t think he’s good enough.

  63. forgotten in a week

    No way. You might want to check Don Denkinger’s wikipedia page. He had to live with his call every single day since 1985.

    I think Joyce handled the situation about as well as he possibly could have afterwards, but there is NO EXCUSE for calling a runner safe on a bang-bang play with 2 outs bottom ninth in a perfect game. What good could he possibly do with that call? Hell, it was 3-0 at the time.

  64. @92

    They might try to limit it to the present circumstances, but teams will start screaming bloody murder if Selig does it in this case and not for them sometime down the line. And I’ll bet it wouldn’t take long. You’d find out exactly how often a bad call affects either a game or a personal accomplishment.

  65. Meanwhile,

    What record do the Braves have to post to make this a successful road trip? I’m thinking 6-5, based on who we play.

  66. @95
    I just addressed this issue on a fanpost over at talkingchop. mitch has 10 hrs for the year and has been hitting the ball very well in the last 5 weeks. with chipper down a few games and infante probably seeing the majority of the playing time at 3rd, it would be an ideal situation to see what mitch jones has to offer the majors the next 3 days.

  67. You know what, that Infante single in the eighth…I have not been so excited by a base hit since I don’t know when…

  68. @89

    I was watching “Around the Horn” yesterday and my jaw hit the floor when the Boston Globe’s Jackie McMullen referred to Angel Hernandez as one of the best umpires in Baseball. She immediately got gasps from the other writers, Cowlishaw, Adande and Paige. (and this wasn’t even in reference to the Galarraga situation because the Tigers/Indians game hadn’t even started).

    I have to agree. Angel Hernandez has long been the ‘Joey Crawford’ of Major League Baseball. He stinks. Total grandstander. I agree that we shouldn’t overreact (despite the Facebook group you joined, Mac!) & call for Joyce’s head. The guy is normally a very good ump, one of the best.

    But I second Cary here. Bud Selig, the worst commissioner in Baseball, should finally do SOMETHING right and overturn the call. And as Mac said, that pissing off the Umpires union is a huge added bonus.

  69. @97

    AAR, it’s so rare when I disagree with something you’ve said, but I wholeheartedly disagree with you here.

    First, Todd Helton shouldn’t not be kept out of the Hall because of Coors Field. That’s ridiculous. That’s basically saying essentially that no Colorado Rockies hitter EVER has a chance at the Hall. That’s patently and blatantly unfair to the nth degree.

    We should always look at ever “angle” on any player when considering their Hall inclusion, no question, and maybe you look at Coors Field – slightly – but this guys sustained numbers and excellence, not to mention the fact that there’s never ever been a whisper of steroid use (and look at his frame – he’s always been an average built guy) should actually give him a bit more consideration, in the steroids era.

    Which is precisely why I balk when you suggest Jeff Bagwell. Don’t get me wrong, Jeff Bagwell is a good guy in terms of personality and humble – but he still juiced up and was a poster child for the steroid era.

    Now, having said that, I have come on here before and said (and my feelings haven’t changed on this) that I don’t have the same disdain for steroid guys, since so many did it and I understand why athletes do it because there’s such a limited window to be a star and earn star $$$. I don’t want to get into a steroid debate but I am not horrified by it as many others are.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that Todd Helton is clearly more deserving of the Hall vs. Bagwell.

  70. Did we somehow take a time machine back to 1968, the Year of the Pitcher? The scores yesterday were like from the dead ball era.

    Maybe Bagwell was juiced (although I’m not aware of any evidence) but we should also note that he played a substantial portion of his career at the Astrodome, which was death to power hitters. (Just like Jimmy Wynn, who played there when there was little offense anyway.) If you are going to discount stats at Coors Field, you should give a premium to stats compiled at the Astrodome. And I agree with Alex R here; unless you can show that the stats were all steroid-related, he should get credit for his career.

    The Joyce thing is sad; it just shows how bad things happen to good people. If this was Joe West or someone, it would make sense. I’m sure this will bother Joyce for the rest of his life. Having said that, this isn’t the first time that umpires have missed relatively clear-cut plays on the bases. Hard to see how he missed it. What really makes this bad, IMO, is that Galarraga is a jouneyman pitcher; this was his chance at immortality. If this had happened to Halladay; well, he still has a good chance to be in the HOF. I can’t believe how well Galarraga handled it. And he went back and got the last out. People should show this to any kids playing sports as an example of how to keep things in perspective.

  71. AAR is right, and AR is wrong. Helton’s not that good.

    Yesterday was the highest-traffic day in the history of this blog.

    A declaration that the play was an out would be appropriate as it did not affect the outcome of the game, which would have been a Tigers win anyway. To me, the precedent was clearly set with the Pine Tar Game, though that was a reversal of a rule interpretation (the bat was clearly against the rules as they were at the time) and not of a judgment call. The just outcome here can be arrived at with a minimum of alteration.

  72. Yesterday was the highest-traffic day in the history of this blog.

    I am surprised. More than the Renteria/Marte day?

  73. Alex, I don’t mean to pile on for Mac, but wanted to respond. I don’t necessarily think that no Coors Field hitter should ever make the Hall, I just don’t think Helton’s good enough.

    He had a very very short peak: his first full season was when he was 24, and he hasn’t hit more than 20 homers since he was 30. Since then, he’s had a lot of back problems and his power has vanished. (I’m not saying anything about PEDs, just saying that his vanished power makes his numbers look worse.)

    If he had continued hitting for power into his 30s, he’d have a strong case. As it is, he was an elite hitter for just about 6 seasons or so. That isn’t enough for the Hall, especially considering that the ’90s-’00s had a ton of really powerful first basemen.

    I’d rather vote for Fred McGriff.

  74. Bagwell came into the league hitting like a HOFer and kept it up for 12 years straight. He has an MVP and a ROY. Helton has about a 6 year peak of HOF level play, with a couple very good years thrown in afterwards. Bagwell was more durable, leads in HR and OPS+ and had a higher, longer peak, despite playing many years in a park that suppressed hitting performance. Absent anything else, Bags has a much better HOF case than Helton. I am not sure how someone who has never actually been found to have done anything wrong is a “poster boy” for anything, but given the scarlet letter treatment some people seem willing to dole out I guess I’ll have to take your word for it.

  75. @99, so Selig shouldn’t step in here because teams will whine? Heh!

    Whine all they want, they’ll still need to have a legitimate case. This was the last play of the game. The correct call would have ended it then and there. There’s no need to conjecture about what would have happened afterward. It was over.

    It is simply not the case that, that situation arises with any sort of frequency. This is a special case beyond that, given the historic significance.

    You don’t fail to right a wrong because you are afraid of criticism. This isn’t world politics, it’s freakin’ baseball!

  76. The precedent set by changing this would open the door for way too many requests to change outcomes…

  77. @112

    Again, refer to post #92.

    Precedent schmecedent. The door wouldn’t be opened for anything. That’s no argument against changing the call.

  78. Anyone got any links to some info about Junior coming up in the bigs with a huge ego and sense of entitlement? Or am I making that up?

  79. I am not entirely sure that reversing calls post hoc just for some arbitrary individual performance point is really a good idea. I think the fact that it doesn’t change the outcome is far more pernicious than vice versa. To go back and change the call for this instance doesn’t really do anything except put an imprimatur on what everybody knows to be true already. I think I’d save my reversals, if any, for situations that DO materially change the outcome, which would seem to be the ones that require justice the most.

  80. I sort of agree with Spike. I do not agree with reversing the calls but do you only reverse the ones that don’t change the outcomes?

  81. Actually, ESPN is reporting another wrong call on a last play of a game. That one was a potential game changer as it was an out call the ended the game with runners on and one of which would have scored to tie the game.

  82. Re: The Imperfect Game
    My friends in Detroit emailed me this morning, saying, “At least, it was the best 9-inning perfect game ever, because Galaragga had to get 28 in a row.”

    I’m afraid I’m with Spike here. (And I do believe it’s a bit of a bad precedent.) I also believe that Selig is aware of which way the wind is blowing. He may try to do the “popular thing” in this matter.

    Re: Helton
    We’ve had this conversation before, but I put both Bagwell & Helton in the HOF.

    Bagwell, on the merits of his on-field exploits, no brainer, really. FWIW, I’d guess that he was a juicer—I kinda think just about everyone was—but that’s another conversation.

    It’s obvious that Helton was helped dramatically by his home park, but his numbers are still good away (294/395/487) and just off the chain at home (358/456/635).

    His numbers at Coors count, folks. And they’re ridiculous. They’d better be. His overall career OPS is 987 with OPS+ 139. It’s a little like the Jim Rice conversation. Some would put him in, others wouldn’t. In my mind, he’s in.

  83. If you neutralize Helton’s stats, you get a first baseman with 290 homers and 2040 hits. Carlos Delgado had 473 homers and 2038 hits. Is he a Hall of Famer? Lee May had 354 homers and 2031 hits. Is he a Hall of Famer? Paul O’Neill is probably closer as a hitter than anyone to an unassisted Helton, with 281 homers and 2105 hits. O’Neill for Cooperstown!

  84. @118, Are we limited here? Is there a need to save up? If something’s wrong, fix it.

    @122, someone will have to explain how this would be bad precedent–emphasize the “bad” to me

  85. The bad is that there is no instant replay in baseball. Once you start changing calls after the game is completed, why wouldn’t every team review every play of every game after the fact to find something to challenge? Balls and strikes? What is reviewable post hoc and what isn’t?

  86. You change a call to maintain a perfect game. Well, what about a no-hitter? A shutout? A hitting streak (and how long of one)? Other stuff I haven’t thought of yet?

    Your idea that the office can just say they’re changing this call, and no others ever, and that’s the end of it, just won’t work. Because teams will find rationales to request other changes. And even if the commish says no, they will have lost control of the situation in the press, with the fans, etc. You can’t simultaneously ignore precedent and pretend you haven’t created a new one.

    To me, there are two options. One, do nothing. Two, announce a future expansion of the role of replay.

  87. @122, Of course his numbers at Coors count – the question is for how much? In Helton’s second season, he hit .315/.380/.530. Pretty damn good – but only good for an OPS+119 because Coors Field had a PF of 125. So sure, they are off the chain – but compared to everyone else that hit there, not nearly as much as one might think. You can’t be impressed by his home performance without contextualizing that a lot of people were putting up big numbers there.

  88. @118, “Some arbitrary individual performance point”…that’s an astounding and insensitive reduction for something that has only been achieved twenty times in history — and could even have a little effect on Galarraga’s earning power in the medium-term. Sure, everybody knows it now. But if that’s the case, do you support abolishing the Hall of Fame, since we all know *now* who all the baseball greats are? Or is there a reason that we have institutions like it?

    I’ve got to think this particular circumstance warrants putting the truth in the record books. What makes this specific instance special and actionable is that: 1) it doesn’t change the game’s outcome, thus keeping how the game ‘would’ve played out’ obvious and uncomplicated, and 2) it literally determines whether a deserving player will or won’t be *immortalized* for an achievement that’s beyond rare in the history of the game. And you’d only make a change in these cases because, well, baseball immortality…does it really need be further justified?

    Maybe we could agree on amending those conditions, but surely there can be a middle ground. Surely, it’s worth some thought. Just change calls that impact those particular circumstances, and that’s it.

  89. I agree with Spike; you are essentially making an exception to the rules for one specific incident. If you are going to do this, change the rule (ie, allow changes after replay) and make it retrospective. I’m not against fixing this, but I think it should be done as part of a broader fix and with some thought given to the policy. For example, why couldn’t Bud announce that they will examine instant replay after the season and then reverse the call and give him the perfect game after the rule is changed?

    Unless you say this is a one-time thing, reversing the call will have implications beyond this game. For example, how obvious does it have to be. In the NFL, the standard is supposedly “incontrovertible” evidence, but we see rulings changed all the time that are far from incontrovertible. What is the standard going to be beyond this one play?

    I feel bad for Galarraga but there have been lots of bad calls that had more impact on baseball–the Denkinger call obviously, and the non-call of interference on the home run in the O’s/Yankees ALCS. Both of those calls likely changed which team won the championship.

  90. @125, bad?? baseball teams already challenge and protest games all the time. What effect does it have? Nothing. There’s no bad consequence there.

    Again, this was the final out of the game. There would have been no further events toward the outcome. The examples you cite involve calls within a game, after which any number of events could occur to influence or change the outcome.

    The Galarrago Perfect Game is different from your examples in that the call ended the game.

  91. I think Helton is a boarder line HOF, but will eventually get in. But to say he isn’t good is a little off. He is the best player in Rockies history and was a great mentor to Peyton Manning! GO VOLS!

    I think Jim Joyce has handled this whole thing with class and dignity. Good for him. Joe West would have thrown him out and cried about the time of the game.

  92. @130, that it’s the final out doesn’t matter. @106 made a great point about the Pine Tar Game. When the call was overturned, the teams resumed play from that point at a later date.

  93. @128 – it’s a game. A game with no rule for going back and reversing calls after the fact. And the fact that perfect games doesn’t happen very often is no particular virtue – unassisted triple plays don’t either. I am not sure about the sensitivity I am supposed to have here. It really seems more of a statistical anomaly, like flipping 27 heads in a row, rather than a particular measure of pitching greatness to me, but YMMV. Getting a pile of strikeouts and allowing two hits and no runs against the Yankees in Game 6 of a WS is far more impressive to me. A perfect game is certainly an achievement, and worth noting, but I don’t ascribe to it the mystical content that others do.

    The income potential thing is pure rubbish – GM to Armando “Well we were going to give you a big raise, but I see you allowed a baserunner against Detroit!”

    WRT immortalizing the game, I’ll tell you that this mistake will do so in a far more concrete way than the unsullied outcome would have. How many folks talk about Len Barker’s perfecto? And how many about Haddix’ non-perfecto?

  94. @126, the Office of the Commissioner has the authority to make it a one-time thing. That’s all we’re discussing here.

    As for whether developing a standard for end-game review or moving forward on incorporating instant reply is desired, these are separate issues that should definitely be considered and discussed.

    However, the Commissioner can make the call on this situation alone. As I said, if the Supreme Court can do it without toppling the empire, I’m sure MLB can manage.

  95. It certainly won’t hurt Galarraga’s marketability. This will be the most famous 1-hitter in baseball history. In fact, I bet that Galarraga will be more famous than a lot of the guys that pitched perfect games. How many people remember Mike Witt or Tom Browning?

  96. @133

    But isn’t there precedent for correcting an umpire’s decision? I’m speaking of course of the Pine Tar game. The commissioner went back and reversed the ump’s decision (admittedly – a misinterpretation of the rule rather than an out/safe call), and in that case, the reversal changed the game’s outcome.

    I don’t think you can make a slippery slope type argument here, because there’s already precedent, and there’s 25 years of evidence to show that there is no slope to slide down.

    Reverse the call, and get it right – give Gallaraga the achievement he earned.

  97. On the other hand, if Jason Donald already had a homer, a triple, and a double in the game, and his infield single gave him a cycle, Indians fans would be protesting loudly for that to count — cycles are rare occurrences too, of course.

    I dunno. The only credible argument against Selig stepping in and changing the score is the slippery-slope argument, but that’s one of the most powerful arguments you can ever make in a sport as tradition-obsessed as baseball.

  98. @129, I’m not against making a larger policy or developing an instant replay regime, but the Galarraga Perfect Game can be considered as a separate issue.

    I agree that for logical consistency, developing an end-game review policy is desirable, but that will entail a larger discussion. Same with instant replay.

    The Galarraga Perfect Game should be corrected now. Let me approach it another way: who is against it?

    Not Galaragga. Not the Tigers. Not Jason Donald (aka out 27). Not the Indians. Not Joyce (the ump). In short, nobody involved.

    With no opposition, the motion carries. Change the call, Bud.

  99. The Tigers aren’t currently using uniform #28. I think Galarraga should claim it.

  100. @132, that it was the final out matters IMMENSELY.

    If it had been an out during the course of the game apart from the end, it could be argued that any number of outcomes could have occurred. With such an argument, it would be harder to insist that the change be made. After all, another hit, walk, error, whatever could have happened.

    However, since it was the final out of the game, the matter is settled with its correction.

    This is perhaps the most important point to the argument. It ended the game. It’s a clean cut deal.

  101. @133, Is the degree of difficulty and accomplishment in pitching a perfect game really up for debate now? Sure, it probably should be a team stat — and I’m all for analyzing its value to death — but it shouldn’t be hard to distinguish between a UTP and a PG. Compared to the latter, the former is almost all pure luck.

    @133/136, the question should be: will more people acknowledge the existence on planet earth of Mike Witt/Tom Browning or Armando Galarraga in the year 4010? I won’t be around to collect, but I’m willing to bet that the record books help the former two to an easy victory.

    @139, totally agree.

  102. @134, the Pine Tar game is the only one I recall, so virtually none. That’s my point.

    Any speculation as to additional protests is irrelevant. There is no effect from them, and therefore no bad effect.

  103. If Selig reverses the call to give Galarraga a perfect game, he would be making an exception to standard procedure in order to give someone a perfect game. It would be just as bad as expanding the strike zone on the last batter of a no-hitter.

    Part of what makes a perfect game so special is that the things that are out of a pitcher’s control all go right. I don’t see a big difference between a bad call by an official and a mishandled routine ground ball that allows a runner to reach on error. The pitcher doesn’t control either, but according to most sportswriters today, the error is acceptable, but the call is not.

    A mistake is a mistake.

  104. I dont like opening the can of worms of changing a call after a game.

    If they want to start a policy from here on, fine. Give each team a red towel to throw for one review per game on fair foul or safe/out or something.

  105. #139

    Dangerous precedent. VERY dangerous precedent.

    While I agree it should be done, doing so just opens up soooooo many other issues that I’d hate to see what would happen.

  106. @145, the largest influence the umpires have on the game is in determining balls and strikes. If you’re going to have challenges, you should go all-in and have computer vision determining strikes.

    Either umpire fallibility is part of the game or it needs to be minimized.

  107. It really doesn’t have to be a can of worms. Just set some clear rules for when you can and can’t change a call.

    A player mistake is totally different than an umpire mistake. Does anyone disagree? This is a game where we are constantly trying to measure the skill of the players on the field. The fact that umpires get calls wrong interferes with the very thing we’re trying to accomplish. In a way, we want player mistakes, while we never want umpire mistakes.

  108. It would be just as bad as expanding the strike zone on the last batter of a no-hitter.

    That, with all due respect, is just nonsense. Besides, Selig would not “give” him the perfect game – it WAS a perfect game and he EARNED it (unlike expanding the strike zone, for that matter).

    With that said, I am not at all in favor of overturning the call. Baseball is a game that involves umpires to enforce the rules, and umpires are human, just like the players. It could be argued that a perfect game takes not only perfect pitching and fielding, but perfect umpiring, too. I could name quite a few baseball records, and important ones among them, which were only accomplished with the aid of generous umpiring, and no one complains about that.

  109. @148, then why are MLB umpires still calling balls and strikes instead of just turning a dial to set a plane where the top of the strike zone should be?

  110. Maybe they should change that too. More broadly, there’s a clear internal conflict within baseball at times, when ‘may the best man win’ meets ‘tradition for the sake of tradition’ (I don’t know how else you could rationalize imperfect rule enforcing). People should just figure out what they want from the game and get on with it.

  111. I mean, let’s take the other argument to its logical conclusion. If we’re willing to tolerate umpire imperfection and interference, why not turn MLB into professional wrestling? Let’s give umpires metal folding chairs to hit players. Let’s let umpires get distracted by a manager as three players steal home while time is called. All for the sake of your entertainment, of course.

  112. Not so sure about the rest of the article, but I do like this line from Neyer: “maybe [Griffey] wasn’t as good as he could have been. But he was better than almost everyone else.”

  113. @152 – Specifically? Baseball games are played to determine the winner, not to aggregate individual stats. If you allow a call to be overturned that so clearly had no impact in determining the out come of the game, are you telling me that calls that DO impact the winner and loser are somehow not reviewable? That’s ridiculous. There are close calls in virtually EVERY game that go a long way to determining the winner. And further, the fact that you would find a post hoc review acceptable in a near perfect game situation, but not in a 6-1 ho hum affair makes you “flexible” to say the least in terms of consistency and any so-called fairness you are trying to achieve.

    @151 – The best team did win. I don’t see the problem. The “tradition” of a perfect game being a huge deal is the ONLY, I repeat THE ONLY thing that is even making anyone notice what transpired here. It’s a blown call that you don’t give a god-damn about under virtually any other circumstance, and rightly so.

    @153 – Umpire imperfection is already tolerated to whatever extreme you’d like to conjure up, and there doesn’t seem to be any chairs, so there really isn’t any conversality argument to be made here.

  114. and @142, basing your decisions on how famous it will make someone in the future is a philosophical system I suppose – not one that many people subscribe to mind you, but you keep fighting the good fight.

  115. Oh come on, guys. The guy had a perfect game stolen from him, and it can easily be resolved. Stop worrying about phantom future problems and look at the situation at hand.

  116. Stop worrying about phantom future problems and look at the situation at hand.

    Famous last words.

    I’m fully with spike on this one. Sucks for Galarraga, but, hey, Eric Gregg’s strike zone sucked for the Braves. Umpires make mistakes, always have.

    This really isn’t the great tragedy that everyone’s making it out to be.

  117. Stop worrying about phantom future problems

    Might as well tell me to not wake up in the morning….

  118. Why not have instant replay? Have it for close calls and home runs (not balls and strikes). Big deal. They could have it where it only take a minute or so to do. Umpires are human, they make mistakes. Baseball has chosen not to police it’s umpires, so lets give them the crutch the game needs.

    If a team has a five run lead or bigger it can’t be used. It can’t be used on stolen bases. Have an umpire in the booth. Piss off the umpire union. It will be great.

  119. I don’t think I would have too much of a problem with IR, presuming the delays are kept to a minimum. I’d be just as happy without it, but oh well. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this affair led to some serious consideration of the idea, anyway.

  120. @137 – reversing a technical equipment decision is a long, long way from changing a safe/out decision. Not even remotely similar, and why there has only been one.

  121. Worst idea ever (besides signing Raul mondesi ) is bud delight overturning a call as a “one time” act.

  122. That next batter happened. He made an out. It should be in the official record that a batter grounded out to third to end the game.

    I might be okay with having a four out inning on record. I am not comfortable with removing the next batter from the scoring as if he never came to the plate, because he did come to the plate, and if you can’t trust the scoring, what’s the point of having it?

  123. Helton’s rate stats are nice, but he hasn’t accumulate enough number stats to be a HOFer. Bagwell has both.

  124. The more I think about it, the more I like a scoring revision that makes it a 28-out perfect game.

  125. One phantom future problem I’m concerned with is one in which players aren’t officially recognized for what they achieve on the field…oh, wait…

    I don’t need to keep fighting the good fight. The Hall of Fame exists. People discuss it. People on this site constantly debate who should and shouldn’t be in it, and in fact are doing so right now. Clearly, the idea of lasting recognition for individual achievement has an important place in the game of baseball. The good fight has already been won. People like the idea of recognizing others for the good they do.

    I’m not sure I’m interested in a game in which “Umpires make mistakes, always have” is a prevailing rationale for how rules are enforced. “That’s just the way it is” has to be one of the all-time worst arguments for anything ever. Taken to an extreme, it makes the game meaningless, and it’s not particularly enjoyable to watch other people falling victim to injustice, or human error that’s avoidable, or however you want to frame it. That’s not why I watch baseball. If incidents like this were to continue, I think people will side with me and look for a game that produces fairer outcomes.

    Again, if you’re going to tolerate imperfection, how much are you willing to tolerate? Are you willing to tolerate umpires who literally never call a strike for Braves pitchers? Where do you draw the line?

    As for changing the call itself: I don’t think I can explain it better than Cary did. The simple solution is to say that MLB is setting a new precedent to reverse bad calls when they come on the final out of the game, when an easily recognizable milestone was put in jeopardy by the bad call, and when the outcome of the game is not affected by the change. It’s not a one time thing. It’s for all time. That’s it. Who would disagree?

    I would not be in favor of changing other calls retroactively, particularly if the change would create an absurdity in the game, i.e. giving a player an extra hit and thereby leaving only two outs in an inning that can’t be replayed to completion, or changing a strike call to put a player on base in a situation that could never be played out in reality or replicated in any way. In those situations, there’s no way to determine what’s fair that I can see. Here, there is.

  126. First, the umpire, Jim Joyce, is human. He and the pitcher (that no one ever heard of) have both been above board on this. There are a lot of premadona umpires out there that would have acted a lot different (see Bill Hohn, Joe West) Hohn would have thrown everyone out and West would have had a press conference to gripe about the speed of the game.

    Which brings me to point number two. Major League Baseball does a terrible job policing its umpires. Not that I think Joyce should face a punishment here, but he has set the example on how to handle this situation. My first reaction was to blame the ump and go on a tangent about how the umpires think they are bigger than the game. There has been a lot of that going on of late and it needs to be stopped.

    Thirdly, it is time for baseball to wake up and bring in instant replay Have it for close calls and home runs (not balls and strikes). Big deal. They could have it where it only take a minute or so to do. Umpires are human, they make mistakes.

    If a team has a five run lead or bigger it can’t be used. It can’t be used on stolen bases. Have an umpire in the booth. Piss off the umpire union. It will be great.

    Baseball hasn’t marketed the game well to younger generations and tends to listen to the old baseball purists. It is time to get past those people and introduce new technologies and ideas into the game.

    I feel bad for all involved, but a game in the middle of the season doesn’t really effect anything at all. Did anyone really know who this pitcher was? It isn’t like Nolan Ryan or Johan Santana was pitching. So in reality, this is getting more attention than a perfect game would have.

    However, I think by blowing the call we have open a much needed can of worms. We can look at ways baseball needs to improve. How to professionally handle situations like this in life. I think we are all better off with the situation happening the way it did. So in reality, it was a perfect game.

  127. 170—I made the comment about umpires’ mistakes only to illustrate that this isn’t some issue of first impression, no matter how hard you or anyone else tries to paint it as such. All kinds of calls get blown, and that leads to all kinds of screwy results for individuals and teams. You want to change that in the future, have replay or use robots. That’s fine with me. But don’t try to change what already happened. If you can’t see how the precedent which that sets is bad — the billion ways in which fans, players, managers, and organizations will feel justified to cry foul after every blown call — I don’t know what to tell you.

  128. @161


    the difference in your Eric Gregg example is that Gregg repeatedly made horrible balls and strikes calls throughout a 9 inning game, that literally changed the result of an entire NLCS. In terms of collateral damage, what Eric Gregg did was FAR WORSE in comparison to the Jim Joyce/Galarraga situation. The Tigers would have won the game anyway and this game in June & it didn’t cost the Indians the game, who probably aren’t making the Playoffs this year anyway.

    And this is precisely why I am on Cary’s side in this argument.

    There have been numerous examples of “one off” decisions made by commissioners before. Roger Goodell excercises this regularly everytime he makes an arbitrary decision on a player suspension.

    I also agree with Cary that changing the “instant replay” rules is a separate debate. That’s a larger Baseball issue. This particular game, especially for a marginal pitcher like Galarraga, may be his livelihood.

    Having said that, Marc made an astute point earlier – This may be the most famous one hitter in Baseball history! Either way, even my wife (who doesn’t even like Baseball) has now heard of a random Tigers pitcher named Galarraga.

  129. I have a lot of problems with slippery slope arguments.

    Guy does something stupid, falls, and breaks his leg. Doctors say, “Sorry, we’re not going to set your leg. If we did, then we’re just encouraging people to do the stupid thing you did.”

  130. And let me add that the late Eric Gregg was in the class of umpires that Joe West and Angel Hernandez fall into – over dramatic ‘boobs’.

    The sentiment on here is pretty universal that Jim Joyce is a good man who made a bad mistake. Bud Selig can fix this.

  131. Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce have saved baseball. It’s all anyone can talk about.

  132. I’m not saying you’re wrong, Stu, but fans, players, managers, and organizations already feel justified to cry foul.

    And umpires have screwed up a lot this year, particularly with Joe West and Angel Hernandez’s ejection sprees. There needs to be a serious re-evaluation of umpires’ behavior on the field, and how they are held accountable for their actions. I admire Joyce for the way he’s acted since the blown call, but just because umpires are human and mistakes happen doesn’t mean that the consequences of those mistakes should be left alone.

  133. Todd Helton:

    Smitty’s reminder that Helton was a Tennessee Vol Quarterback may actually get me to back down defending him. Sorry, Todd, no Hall for you, brother.

  134. #177

    Just to add to a point where AAR and I do agree (back to normal!) not only does Joyce deserve credit for his behavior after the fact, but let’s applaud Galarraga for his, too. It may have been Marc who made the point earlier, but it’s a GREAT example for young kids on how to behave in a situation like this.

  135. Re: Helton
    How many players with a .326 lifetime average and 8,000 PAs aren’t in the HOF?

    Re: Imperfect Game
    I don’t think you can change the call. If it becomes the impetus to install replay, fine. The whole thing sucks, but I don’t think you can change it.

  136. The Hall of Fame exists.

    Please explain how this will alter the way one looks at Galarraga’s career. This is just absurd on it’s face. “Well you were going to be in, pal, but that 1 hitter – well we can’t have that”. Could you name the other 20 folks on this hallowed list before today? I couldn’t and neither could most folks, even serious fans of the game. You are assigning a value after the fact that EVEN YOU didn’t hold yesterday.

    Clearly, the idea of lasting recognition for individual achievement has an important place in the game of baseball.

    And to you, apparently more important than the game itself. There were two other calls last night that actually impacted the outcome of a game rather than bruise someone’s vanity. Where’s your outrage?

    I’m not sure I’m interested in a game in which “Umpires make mistakes, always have” is a prevailing rationale for how rules are enforced.

    NFL preseason is right around the corner!

    Again, if you’re going to tolerate imperfection, how much are you willing to tolerate? Are you willing to tolerate umpires who literally never call a strike for Braves pitchers? Where do you draw the line?

    Repeating this doesn’t make it any less specious. Umpire performance is governed by a specific body that has mechanisms to deal with umpire performance. And they use replay.

    I would not be in favor of changing other calls retroactively,

    This makes your argument even worse. You would use this magic power to right a wrong in a game where it doesn’t change the outcome, but ignore actual miscarriages of justice that changed the score. Talk about creating an absurdity.

  137. @174 – the situation is exactly the reverse of your analogy – in your world a doctor decides which legs he’s going to fix depending on how cool you looked when you broke it.

  138. The post season, as much as I would like to go back in a time machine, drug Gregg’s food before Game 6 of the 1997 NLCS (that would require a large dose of drugs), and make sure a decent umpire was handling balls and strikes, is different vs. a June regular season game.

    But the post season mistakes, whether it be the Deckinger call in 85, the Hrbek “air lift” of Ron Gant in 91, or the Eric Gregg 9 inning debacle of 1997, could be rectified with instant replay – going forward. Again, a separate debate.

    But for the record, yes, I support instant replay, especially for the post season. I don’t believe that a bad call should EVER affect the outcome of a post season series in any sport and it’s a travesty when it does.

  139. Q: How many players with a .326 lifetime average and 8,000 PAs aren’t in the HOF?
    A: All the ones that played their career at Coors.

  140. Smitty,

    One thing that makes any argument we may have with Mac and AAr about Helton, is that he still has years left to play. To me, if he continues to hit well for some more years, he further backs an argument to support his Hall entry.

    I just think disqualifying a guy, simply because he played at Coors Field sets a very dangerous precedent.

  141. I just think disqualifying a guy, simply because he played at Coors Field sets a very dangerous precedent.

    No one is doing that. You have to hit significantly better than your peers for consideration as a 1B, and Helton just does not meet that test. His peers hit pretty well at Coors, which is why his OPS+ isn’t stratospheric.

  142. Alex,

    Very true. Plus they have the humidor out there now that has slowed it down quite a bit and he is still hitting.

  143. Speaking of football, tomorrow the NCAA releases its’ findings on the USC case.

    Far be it from me to rise to the defense of the University of Spoiled Children, but I have to ask:

    How did USC benefit from the benefits given by the AGENT (not booster) to Reggie Bush?

    If Reggie had been excelling at UCLA or Stanford or Oklahoma or Georgia, the agent would still have been pursuing him, correct?

    I think there’s a difference between a booster (Sam Gilbert) and an agent (Master P). Difference is, of course, that the booster is acting to benefit a certain school whereas the agent is acting to benefit himself.

    Am I missing something here?

  144. 177—Not even remotely close to what it would be like. But you know that.

    And spike is absolutely pwning this thread.

  145. Plus they have the humidor out there now that has slowed it down quite a bit and he is still hitting.

    Smitty, he isn’t hitting NEARLY as much as was back then. He used to hit 40 homers a year — now he’s hitting 15 or so.

    Not even remotely close to what it would be like. But you know that.

    Stu, I do know that. I’m just saying that, whatever Selig decides with regard to last night’s game — and he probably will decide not to do anything, and it’ll be a defensible decision — this also needs to be regarded in the larger context of baseball and umpiring. Mac hasn’t updated AwfulUmpiring in a while, but there has been some awful umpiring lately, and whether or not Selig chooses to react to this particular incident, MLB needs to react to this larger problem.

  146. Don’t disagree with that, Alex. I just think the reaction needs to deal with improving the present and future, not trying to erase the past.

  147. #189

    I fully expect the NCAA to give nothing more than a ceremonial slap on the wrist to USC. Maybe a lost scholly or two and a finger shaking.

    And that will enrage myself and a LOT of other people.

    The overwhelming concrete evidence of wrong doing at USC at minimum matches anyone of the schools that have been punshied in the SEC, but in my personal opinion, what USC has gotten away with so blatantly is far, far worse.

    But I would take this a step further. While several non SEC schools have committed blatant penalties the last 10 years with no punishment (Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, just to name a few) Ohio State got away with things that easily matches what I’ve seen at USC. The difference is that Jim Tressel wears a sweater vest and you know, those midwest folk are “good, honest, Americans”.

    And that’s crap. The stuff I saw just during the Maurice Clarett era ALONE was stunning that Ohio State didn’t lose any scholarships. USC has just drawn a helluva lot more attention on themselves – but watch – they will still get slapped. Eberyone in Tuscaloosa and Auburn and everywhere else in the SEC should and will be crying bloody murder at the double standard when USC gets NADA.

  148. Alex R – certainly if Southern Cal is found to have participated in the violations, they should get hammered.

    My question, though, is exactly HOW did USC itself benefit from an agent pursuing the professional representation of Reggie Bush?

  149. @195

    There are a lot of things baseball needs to do. First, is instant replay. Second, is a better marketing campaign. They need to get kids buying baseball cards again and make their draft more of a national story than they do. MLB needs to focus on 35 and under and really try to get young people interested in the game.

  150. No redo on the Galarraga call. Blown calls are part of baseball. The imperfect humans who officiate baseball are part of the game. Over simplification? I guess. But really I don’t care, again becuase its part of the game.

    I feel bad for Messrs. Joyce and Galarraga. They are forever linked in history. But in the end it shouldn’t affect their professional lives any at all.

    I applaud them for the classy and professional way they have conducted themeselves. A great example for their professional peers and the public as well.

    Todd Helton != HOF

  151. Right call by Selig.

    The Tigers should throw Galarraga a nice little pre-game ceremony one night, give him a hot trophy recognizing the perfect game and maybe a new car or something.

  152. @200, @201 It would be awesome for Auburn to get that credit, but I can’t imagine it playing out that way. If they forfeit, doesn’t that mean by default it goes to their opponent in the NC game?

    (I don’t think USC is going to lose the title, just pondering the possibility)

  153. I think USC is going to get lit up. Don’t think it will be death penalty, but might be close. The fact that they lumped football and basketball together reeks of lack of institutional control.

  154. they wont give Auburn credit for the NC. They still mightve had the best team that year, but IMO, you have to polay in the NC game in order to win an outright title

  155. Galarrage knows, just like the rest of us, that it was a perfect game and thats all that matters. The ump admitted his mistake and Ill give him props for that. He botched a call, it happens. Just like Smoltz, he claims a No No but record books dont show it and he’s fine with that.

  156. One of the worst/most boring breaches of internet decorum is to repeat yourself ad nauseam in an argument with just one person. I won’t restate why I think Selig got it wrong. “While the human element has always been an integral part of baseball” tells me all I need to know.

    spike: I don’t mean to ignore other bad calls. It’s just that there’s nothing to be done about them. Honest question: What can you do about a game you can’t replay or re-enact from the point at which you correct the bad call? Put an asterisk next to them in the box score? It doesn’t accomplish what you’d want to accomplish. Anyway, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m morally oblivious to bad calls aside from the Galarraga instance. I didn’t happen to see the other bad calls until this morning, but it is upsetting to me — certainly since one did decide a game — and it makes me want a good instant replay system now more than ever. I just recognize that there’s no fair way to resolve many situations retroactively. That certainly doesn’t translate to not doing anything about the situations that can be fixed fairly.

    So, my outrage isn’t disproportionate. I just see that one situation can be solved easily, and the other, not so much. I’m still not persuaded otherwise, so I remain focused on what I perceive as something that could actually be fixed.

    Re: the lasting fame mini-debate: In fact…while I am aware of only a handful of those 20 perfect games — Randy Johnson pitched one against the Braves on my birthday that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon — I do like to google the list of perfecto-s every so often. Likewise, I don’t commit the stats from Walter Johnson or Ted Williams’ best seasons to memory, but I do like to check them out once in a while on baseball-reference. It’s genuinely inspiring and motivating to me, and I bet I’m not alone. The way this impacts how one looks on Galaragga’s career is: in a matter of years, people won’t look on it *at all* vs forever being a part of that group that baseball fans look to every so often in order to relate to the idea of perfection and exemplary performance. If you want to continue the discussion, email adrivera at gmail dot com.

  157. First of all, there is a big freaking difference between a misinterpretation of the rules (Pine Tar Game) and a poor judgment call. In fact, the difference is spelled out in the rulebook.

    Second of all, let me preface this by saying that baseball is my favorite sport, and I get overly into all the individual achievements and record book stuff as much as the next guy, but situations like this are when baseball fans like us can look a little silly, in my opinion. The only thing that matters is the outcome of the game, in the end. This perfect game doesn’t matter in the long run. It’s a nice individual achievement, but the point for everyone on the field should not be to be involved in a perfect game. It’s to win the game, or in the umpires’ case, to make sure the game is fairly arbitrated toward that end. Angel Hernandez has been costing Tampa Bay runs all week with dumbass calls, and nobody has batted an eye. And that is of far greater concern than whether or not this guy gets his perfect game. All of the calls that have been mentioned: the Denkinger call (potentially cost the Cardinals the World Series), the Eric Gregg thing (potentially cost us the National League pennant), the Jeffrey Maier/Tony Tarasco fiasco (potentially cost the Orioles the American League pennant)…all of these calls meant far more than the call last night did. Far more.

    Now I don’t subscribe to the slippery slope argument. That argument is technically a logical fallacy, anyway. It’s not an argument that really gets you anywhere, but you can’t argue against it, either. It’s just not very useful. Bud Selig could, in fact, change this call and tell everyone else who comes crying to him about niggling little things thereafter to stick it. There’s nothing that says he couldn’t, especially with his “best interests of baseball” clause, which pretty much makes it nice and legal for him to do anything he wants. It would set a bad precedent, but it doesn’t mean that he would have to uphold everything that comes across his desk from here on out. He could set the bad precedent and then not follow through on it. He could make this a one-time exception and the fabric of baseball would not be torn asunder.

    However, what would be the point? The Tigers won the game, which is the important thing. In the long run, the perfect game doesn’t mean anything. Winning the game is what matters. Why are we overturning calls for arbitrary personal achievements? How many people have pitched a perfect game where they got the benefit of a poor umpire’s call that continued the perfect game? I’m willing to bet more than a couple. Are we taking those perfect games away? If a perfect game is so sacred and the commissioner should be making sure the institution of the perfect game remains pure, shouldn’t he? Those perfect games standing cheapens the achievement for everyone else. What about someone pitching a one-hit shutout where the perfect game was taken away by a bad call in the third inning? That’s probably happened before. Do we go back and award that guy a perfect game? Maybe either Roger Clemens or Kerry Wood thought they had a guy struck out on a pitch that the umpire didn’t give them during their 20 K games. Do we give them 21 Ks?

    The answer to all of these questions is no, because in the end, it just doesn’t matter. It’s far more important that the game itself is conducted fairly. Personal achievements are fun, but they’re not something umpires or the commissioner should really be paying any attention to. If the Indians had mounted a rally and come back to win the game last night, that would’ve been a far bigger issue as far as umpiring and the commissioner are concerned, but nobody would be even suggesting that the call be overturned then.

    In the end, the enactment of expanded instant replay to make sure that calls are correct so that the right team wins the game is what is important here. If it takes the trashing of a perfect game to get that to happen, I would say that’s well worth it. And if in the future, a perfect game is upheld by instant replay that otherwise would’ve been broken up, that’s fine too. But the perfect game is not what’s important here, in my opinion. It is just an arbitrary achievement. A rare and difficult one, perhaps, but still not incredibly meaningful for the umpires or the commissioner compared to the outcome of a game or a championship.

  158. I just read that the Tigers sent Galaragga out with the lineup card to shake hands with the ump for all the world to see. Apparently drew a standing ovation.

    Someone pointed out that all of this may have been a blessing as it provides a rare demonstration of how adults are supposed to act.

  159. @196 – nobody. It’s not even real in the first place.

    According to yahoo!, USC was giving the agents the access they needed. Because USC knew of, and even facilitated, the relationships, it should be evident how it benefited.

    But come on, Alex. The stuff SEC teams were caught doing was way worse, rules violations wise, than anything OU, Michigan, or Colorado has been accused of. I don’t even remember what rules Colorado supposedly broke, are you just referring to a bunch of their players being rapists earlier in the decade?

    Michigan practiced too much, and OU’s compliance department took a while in figuring out three guys, one a walk-on, weren’t going to their jobs when they should have been. The total money amount involved was like 15,000 between the three.

    Albert Means was paid 200,000 dollars from Alabama as a recruit, and thousands more from basically every other SEC school. Jim Harrick doctored his players grades so they could stay eligible.

    Plus, I don’t really understand why you think those schools haven’t received punishment. Oklahoma lost scholarships and was put on probation, which is probably going to cost it big time since one of its coaches apparently brokered a 3,000 dollar transfer to a player recently.

    Is a conference-wide bidding war really comparable to too many practices? How much did Clarett get?

  160. I really don’t have the time to restart Awful Umpiring right now, so will the umpires try to at least go a few days without any major controversies?

    I disagree with Bud’s decision, though I understand the logic behind it… My joke in 174 was about slippery slope arguments in general, not this specific case. Too often, people worry about precedent rather than the individual situation in front of them.

    The BCS has announced that they may take away USC’s NC, while the AP has said that it will not. My guess is that the BCS title will remain vacant.

  161. Honest question: What can you do about a game you can’t replay or re-enact from the point at which you correct the bad call?

    Honest answer – nothing. Which is what has been done here. Doing something differently going forward is worth consideration, but for today, right now, nothing can or should be done.

  162. The comparison is to the football instant replay rules. Once the next play has started (even if the next play is a PAT) the play is no longer reviewable.

  163. As an Auburn alum, I have to say this brings back long forgotten impotent rage. Thanks!

  164. I go away for a bit and so many poor arguments crop up. Let’s see..

    @158, baseball games, in fact, are played to entertain us, both by determining a winner and celebrating individual (and team) stats. For realization of this, see Baseball Hall of Fame.

    I am telling you that calls within the course of the game are much more questionable (impossible?) for post hoc review because numerous outcomes are still possible whichever way a call is made to be changed. For these calls, you would need to stop action and handle them in the moment, aka instant replay review.

    We do not have this situation here. It occurred at the end of the game. Period.

    So, YES, I am telling you that missed calls during the course of a game (aka not game-ending) are not reviewable since there is no existing replay in place . And it is not ridiculous. It is math.

    The rest of your response there pretty much falls apart at this point so I won’t bother to rebut.

  165. david15,

    Really??????? So, you’re saying that only the big cheating in college athletics goes on in the SEC but not anywhere else, despite overwhelming evidence.

    You are clearly jealous of the SEC but I digress.

    Wake up call: all the big schools have a certain amount of garbage that goes on. In certain cases, like say Pete Carroll or a Rick Neuhaisal (or if we’re talking hoops, Jim Calipari) where it’s fairly obvious the coach knows what’s going on and either is a part of it or turns a blind eye.

    (and there are coaches dumb enough to regularly announce or tweet the dumb crap they do say like Lane Kiffin).

    There are situations at every D1 school where coaches don’t know everything or anything at all, and players are doing plenty behind their backs.

    But to make a blanket remark that somehow Colorado, Michigan and Oklahoma are innocent, but the SEC is dirty, is just either incredibly naive, biased or insulting to one’s intelligence.

    The same stuff goes on everywhere. But apparently we’re only cheaters in the south because we’re just a bunch of dumb hillbillies, right? Spare me.

  166. Angel Hernandez has been costing Tampa Bay runs all week with dumbass calls, and nobody has batted an eye.

    Well… I wouldn’t say that nobody has batted an eye. Tampa fans have been batting quite a few eyes, and I referred to Angel above. The guy is a joke, and needs to be dealt with, though as Stu correctly points out he isn’t totally relevant to the matter at hand.

  167. Is there anything in the rules that would give Selig the power to overturn the call? It’s not in the protest rules because you can’t protest judgment calls, but is this just an “in the best interest of the game” argument or what?

    Basically, what gives the Commissioner the power to overturn judgment calls on his own?

  168. @219 – I understand. But those rules do not currently exist in baseball, so any discussion pursuant to what happened last night is moot. The fact that it would be messy to correct some calls after the fact is hardly an argument to begin the practice.

  169. @166, worse idea, letting a clear error, of incontrovertible video proof, stand* where a) none of the affected parties oppose its reversal, b) the outcome of the game is unchanged, and c) an historic achievement is good for baseball.

    *and why let it stand, for some undefined, boogeyman scenario which no one has yet laid forth.. again, show me the harm!

  170. @167, you wrote:

    That next batter happened. He made an out. It should be in the official record that a batter grounded out to third to end the game.

    … I am not comfortable with removing the next batter from the scoring as if he never came to the plate, because he did come to the plate, and if you can’t trust the scoring, what’s the point of having it?

    Just a reminder: when a game fails to reach 5 innings due to rain/snow/whatever, the stats are wiped away. This may be upwards of 20 at-bats, for arguments sake. 20 > 1

    It’s done all the time. That is all.

  171. Jealous? haha, wow.

    I never claimed anyone to be innocent. I said your equivocating what OU, OSU, Michigan, and Colorado did to what happened in the SEC is ridiculous.

    I barely even mentioned USC for brevity’s sake, but if they did what yahoo! documented, well, it’s just as bad as what Alabama did with Means and they should get nearly eviscerated, just like Alabama did.

    It’d be nice if you’d respond to what I wrote instead of what you wish I wrote though. None of the straw men you present were in my post.

    Of course, violations occur everywhere. Coaches take their players out to dinner, practice over time, etc. But recruits and their coaches don’t get paid 200,000 dollars very often. When they do and it gets found out, schools get punished severely, whether they’re in the SEC or not, so your big thesis that the SEC is somehow persecuted against by the NCAA is tinfoil hat nuts.

  172. The one area where technology would really help on a baseball field already exists and would have saved Roy Oswalt an early departure – the ball/strike thingamabob. We could fire Hernandez today!

  173. @221 – “so many” = one apparently. At least it’s in line with your policy of exceptionalism when it pleases you.

    The fact that a Baseball Hall of Fame exists is hardly substantiation that game outcomes are equivalent to player achievements. This is what we call an “assertion”. Saying them on the internet does not make them into facts.

    I am telling you that calls within the course of the game are much more questionable (impossible?) for post hoc review

    Agreed! But this is not an affirmative argument for reviewing ANYTHING!

    So, YES, I am telling you that missed calls during the course of a game (aka not game-ending) are not reviewable

    Agreed again! But you still haven’t shown why anything else should be!

    So all you’ve got is “There is no mechanism to do this, but since it pissed me off and I can sorta make it work out for everyone, lets!”. Forgive me if I (and apparently MLB) don’t find this terribly suasive.

    /edited for grammar

  174. @172, I was curious what you thought, hmmm, responding to Adam R, you wrote:
    But don’t try to change what already happened. If you can’t see how the precedent which that sets is bad — the billion ways in which fans, players, managers, and organizations will feel justified to cry foul after every blown call — I don’t know what to tell you.

    Regarding “every blown call,” fans can cry after them, but they wouldn’t be justified. Math. See my comment @221.

    Do you disagree that multiple (hell, infinite) outcomes are available prior to the final out of a game?

    Do you disagree that there is currently not an instant replay regime in place for most MLB umpire calls?

    Does it not then follow that justified protest would then be limited to the 27th out of an MLB game in regards to post hoc reviews?

    Show me the harm in changing this call. Specifically.

  175. Once you do it (change a ump judgment call the following day), you’re in the business of doing it. And business will be a-boomin’. To think otherwise is a failure of imagination.

  176. I wonder if USC’s punishment will be harsher because they hired a known cheater (Kiffin) and NCAA renegade? I doubt it, but it reminds me of how much I hate the NCAA. They make a big deal about precedent in their rulings, but when it comes right down to it they have absolute power and do whatever the heck they want to do. It is often based on personalities and whether or not the institution bowed down and gave homage to the NCAA.

    On Selig not changing the call. He’s made very few correct decisions before there was a public/ congressional outcry against his indecision. I have no reason to believe that he’ll start making correct decisions on the first try and that seems to be the case this time.

  177. Scott Van Pelt made a good point – a coupla days ago, the Astros won on a 2-strike walkoff double. On the penultimate pitch, the batter clearly (on replay) went around but the pitch was called a ball.

    That blown call cost a team a ballgame – not just an individual a record.

    “That way lies madness.”

  178. I should also point out that I actually do think they should just use the Pitch F/X system to call balls and strikes during the game. If they have to upgrade it a little bit beforehand, fine…do it. There’s no doubt that it’s possible, and there’s really no reason not to do it, in my opinion, other than fear of technology and lamenting the loss of tradition, neither of which I’m particularly interested in when it comes to getting calls right. Instant replay on balls and strikes would be a nightmare, but if you did that, there would be no need for instant replay on balls and strikes. You then put the human umpires out in the field and make everything else reviewable by instant replay. Problem solved (well, at least 95 percent solved). The only thing it doesn’t solve is umpires with itchy trigger fingers, but perhaps if they’re emasculated in such a fashion, they’ll be a little bit more humble.

  179. @231, the argument of yours I was refuting was that game outcomes are the only result that matters and that it is the only reason the games are played. I never said that player/team achievements were on par/equivalent in importance with game outcomes. I don’t have to. You missed my assertion.

    What is clear, and by the way relevant to our discussion, is that individual/team statistics are important to baseball. As evidence of this supremely obvious fact, I offer the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    As you can see here..:

    ..the Baseball Hall of Fame mentions individual player achievements, team statistics and other elements of baseball history, among them Perfect Games, in addition to game/championship results.

  180. Bud can do just about anytning he wants as long as (a) the players’ union doesn’t object and (b) the owners don’t object. The theoretical powers of the commissioner are vast. But then, so are those of the Queen of England.

  181. @231, again, your opposition argument from comment 125:
    The bad is that there is no instant replay in baseball. Once you start changing calls after the game is completed, why wouldn’t every team review every play of every game after the fact to find something to challenge? Balls and strikes? What is reviewable post hoc and what isn’t?

    You say, why not review every call. And I showed you why. Math.

    Here’s the affirmative argument: We can correct this error. We should correct errors that we can. No one involved opposes changing the error.

    Due to the lack of an instant replay mechanism, no more can be done for other errors. We are limited in what can be done–in this case to the final out of a game. However, that doesn’t mean that we should let perfect justice be the enemy of good justice.

    There is great value in changing the call. There is no value in allowing the error to stand.

    Stubbornness is not a value here.

  182. 232—See 233. That nails it more succinctly than anything else I could write. If that doesn’t float your boat, nothing else I could say will.

  183. I think officiating would be better if a ref would have to pay $25 for each T he called and an ump pay same for each ejection

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