John, I think this Galarraga incident will be an epoch-defining moment in baseball that will surely herald the era of instant replay — and for the first time, I can’t really rouse myself to object to that.
At least until the shock wears off. In a weird way, it is like the BP spill. Those of us who oppose instant replay in baseball, like those of us who support domestic drilling, correctly (I think) point out that catastrophic failures of the status quo are so unlikely that worries about them shouldn’t guide our policy thinking. But then Deepwater Horizon blew up and Jim Joyce blew a perfect game.
By the way, here is Keith Olbermann (I know, I know; strange days) reporting on a high-level meeting on the incident taking place within the Commissioner’s office:
Major League Baseball sources with direct knowledge of the meeting confirm that key members of baseball’s hierarchy were to convene this morning in New York to review the circumstances of Umpire Jim Joyce’s erroneous “safe” call at first base in Detroit, which last night denied the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga what would have been the 21st Perfect Game in baseball history and the third in just 25 days.
Whether Commissioner Bud Selig was to be involved in the meeting from its start was unclear. There was considerable doubt that Selig felt he could or should intervene in overturning the results of an umpire’s on-the-field ruling. The Detroit News reported that the Tigers might be contacting MLB in hopes of remedying what umpire Joyce later admitted, clearly and emotionally, was a wildly incorrect call. The News quoted Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski as saying “I wouldn’t get into telling you what I would do. That’s a private matter. He shouldn’t have missed it. It’s a shame for the kid…”