Thursday, June 3, 2010

Out With The Old

Jim Joyce fucked it up.

Then, as he usually does, Selig made the wrong decision.

That's the short version. I don't have too much to say here; most of the discussion has already taken place (most eloquently here). The blown call and the reverberations will be felt for a few years to come, especially when the instant replay is mentioned next. I mean, it doesn't get more simple than this instance; a missed call completely changed the outcome of a historic game. There's the underlying premise from the old-world of baseball that the "human element" is of worth or important to the game; I'm completely against that. It doesn't make sense. You know why there's a human element to the game? Because that's the best we could do, get a person to ump the game. We have a better option now, and it's stupid not to use it. Look at it this way: getting to the store from your house a few miles away used to have an equine element. That doesn't mean we still do it that way. Tennis should be the inspiration; when a call is contested it's immediately replayed via a monitoring computer. It's fast, it's accurate, and it works.

It should also be said that Galarraga threw an absolute gem: 88 pitches and 67 for strikes in an hour and forty two minutes of work, both the count and the time being the second lowest in both categories for perfection, all against a team that can hit and run pretty well. Also noteworthy is how he's acted exemplary and deserves nothing but acclaim (and maybe a new Corvette) during this whole thing - hugging Joyce after he apologized and acting as though he's a grown man who understands he's playing a game. It's great to see such a positive example; most who watch the sport (myself included) and write about it began seething with rage as soon as Joyce's arms went horizontal.

It comes down to this: Bud should've changed the play. There's no logical reason why he wouldn't; every single principle involved in the play (the ump, the batter, the fielders) agrees that the game should have ended at first, with Armando Galarraga holding the ball after a perfect 9 innings. Baseball isn't moored to the past anymore than basketball or football; the problem is that the establishment of Major League Baseball is old, moneyed, and stagnant. Bud's never done anything without the promise of money attached, and no one who knows anything about Selig would expect him to make the right call. Remember, this is a comissioner who thought a tie would be an excellent end to an All Star game. This is a League that refuses to schedule any playoff or World Series games during the day, that won't let you show clips on YouTube, that has a major rule inconsistencies between its own divisions. Replay and sensor technology won't ruin baseball any more than switching from woolen uniforms. Baseball is an old game, yes. Players wore dress shoes that were cobbled together with a spike plate when professional Baseball started and the scoreboards was just wooden numbers; the move to modern cleats and jumbotrons hasn't changed what Baseball is. Let's embrace the idea that a system of umpire review can do the same.

Once and for all - it's not "modernization" to advocate technology to ensure correct calls. The umpires are human, and humans make mistake. Players will make mistakes. There is NOT a corollary that states we have to therefore be subject to mistakes mattering more than the game. Put in some provisions to keep this from happening again, comish.

I love baseball, but holy shit it's getting tiresome being a fan of a sport controlled by people who, if Selig is any indication, wear adult diapers.