The Travesty

2010 has already been an incredible season, especially in the perfect game department. There had only been 18 in the history of baseball, but now we have witnessed three of them – first by Dallas Braden, then by Roy Halladay, and finally, tonight, Armando Galarraga joined the club.

27 up, 27 down. It’s an exclusive club for a reason: it’s almost impossible to do. You never know what might happen. A lucky bounce here or there, a blown call by an umpire…

Okay, fine, the record books won’t let us pretend that the Travesty of Jim Joyce didn’t happen. The man blew a pretty easy call that cost Galarraga his spot in history. There’s simply no defending him. He screwed up, really badly, in the most important moment of his career.

He’s human. Humans make mistakes. And it’s why the strengths and weaknesses of one single man should never determine the outcome of such a play. There is no argument against instant replay. Any chance the purists had for a “sanctity of the game” argument just went out the window. Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game, but he won’t get credit for it because one umpire screwed up, when 30 seconds of watching a replay on a monitor would have allowed him to correct his call.

This is ridiculous. Replay. Now.

Until then, I suggest MLB invoke “the best interest of the game” and hold a joint press conference with Joyce where everyone involved admits that the call was wrong, and they simply overturn the call and officially credit Galarraga with a perfect game. I don’t care about precedent. This will never happen again. It’s the right thing to do.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
12 years ago

30 seconds? We’d have made the right call in 10. This was an easy call, and Joyce blew it straight to hell.

They should posthumously overturn the call and give him the perfecto. Everyone knows he threw one, anyways.

12 years ago
Reply to  nothingxs

posthumously. heh.

12 years ago
Reply to  larry

Well, the perfect game sure is DEAD right now

12 years ago
Reply to  nothingxs

Let me say this much first. I believe baseball is the greatest and most perfect game in the history of the world, and nothing, not instant replay or interleague play or anything can change that. I will have to disagree with Mr. Cameron though. First of all, there have been perfect games that lasted more than 9 innings that do not count because they were no longer perfect when the game was finally finished. This in my opinion shows that the perfect game, while an amazing achievement is not the end all be all of great pitching performances. Secondly, fangraphs just wrote an article about how Halladay’s perfecto was not his best pitched game. Finally, we have no idea how many perfect games or no hitters in the last 100+ years were taken away because of a blown or bad call. It is a slippery slope. Will it eventually lead to re-opening the record books to see if players near 3,000 hits should have been credited with extra hits throughout their careers. I understand that the umpire made a mistake, and I’m sure he knows that. I just don’t believe we are adding integrity to the greatest game in the world by opening up that Pandora’s box.

12 years ago
Reply to  bberdl20

Didn’t Ty Cobb get credited with another hit recently?

Not yet finished
12 years ago
Reply to  bberdl20

“First of all, there have been perfect games that lasted more than 9 innings that do not count because they were no longer perfect when the game was finally finished.”

That’s a logical impossiblity. A game isn’t finished until it’s over. A perfect game isn’t defined ONLY as “27-up 27-down” it’s 27-up and 27-down AND your team wins.

What would you like a guy credited with 2 perfect games if he pitched 18 innings perfectly?

A game is not complete until it’s over. A pitcher who goes 9 innings in an 10 inning game isn’t credited with a CG.