June 3, 2010

Bud Selig Maintains His Legacy As Incompetent, Worthless Asshole

Commissioner Bud Selig won't reverse an umpire's admitted blown call that cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.

Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball will look at expanded replay and umpiring, but didn't specifically address umpire Jim Joyce's botched call Wednesday night.

A baseball official familiar with the decision confirmed to The Associated Press that the call was not being reversed. ...

Former Cub Milt Pappas, who lost a perfect game in 1972 when the home plate umpire called a ball on a full count on the 27th batter, ridiculed Selig for his refusal to reverse Joyce's decision.

"What an idiot. How the hell can [Selig] not do that? ... I can't believe that, after the umpire even admitted what he did," Pappas told ESPNChicago.com's Willie Weinbaum. "[Joyce] ruined the kid's perfect game and said so. Unbelievable. It's too bad."


andy said...

I agree w/ Selig completely.

I echo those who say it sets a precedent that shouldn't be set. Not because it never has been before, but because I don't think it should be, especially after the fact, in the middle of a season.

Establishing that the commish, or the umps, or anyone, has the right to change an event along these lines is something that should be reserved for the offseason, not as a reaction to 1 game.

I think regardless of whether one personally agrees or not, 'the right thing to do' is certainly not clear cut in this situation.

Since I rarely comment here, I always feel obliged to balance my opposing viewpoint with a hearty dose of "keep up the great work, JoS!"

allan said...

Thank you, but balancing your disagreement with praise is not necessary.

RedSoxDiehard said...

I agree with Andy that it's a dangerous precedent. It's a terrible shame that Gallaraga doesn't get credit for it, but his will probably be more remembered than some of the guys who do get credit.

But if they go back and reverse that call, then I want Tim Tchida's call on the phantom tag of Offerman in the '99 ALCS back!

Amy said...

As I think you said (sort of) earlier, once an asshole, always an asshole.

Benjamin said...

Thank you, but balancing your disagreement with praise is not necessary.

I prefer to balance my agreement with ridicule.

RedSoxDiehard said...

And I should add... I do completely agree with the title of the post.

andy said...

I know it's not necessary but I realized I have a tendency only to speak up to disagree - and that paints an unrealistic picture of my overall appreciation!

tim said...

As I said in the previous thread, why couldn't the official scorer change it? If they got canned after changing it, thats clearly wrongful dismissal. No reason at all why the scorer couldn't have changed it.

This is complete bullshit. Fuck precedents, it doesn't matter. When everyone involved says it should've been an out, IT SHOULD'VE (AND SHOULD BE) RECORDED AS AN OUT!!!!!

Do the Tigers play in Milwaukee this year? The entire team should take a big collective steamy dump all over the head of the Bud Selig statue in front of the Brewers stadium, to make a punderful literal shithead out of the biggest shithead in the world (right now).

tim said...

After BP turfs their CEO, maybe they can offer Bud the position. Seems like his resume (total asswipe) fits the role. Then hopefully MLB can finally have someone who can tell his ass from a hole in the ground.

FenFan said...

Right call. It sucks, but it's the right call. By the way, I think you just won the award for best blog post title of 2010.

laura k said...

There's no need to be afraid of precedence when it means getting something right. The danger is believing you must allow the wrong thing to stand because of some ill-considered belief that there might be a right time for change, but of course this isn't it.

I think the right thing to do is perfectly clear cut. We know what happened, and the record should reflect that. I've heard no compelling reason why the record should reflect what did not actually happen.

tim said...

I've tried to think of an analogy involving living in a hole with no access to internet/tv/news and looking at the scorecard, thinking that this guy hit an infield single and not knowing about anything involving a bad call, but I can't even begin to comprehend that train of thought.

Its just ridiculous that everyone KNOWS what happened and that the batter was out, but the record reflects something else. There's no metaphor I can come up with for this, but seriously - "precedent" - really? It'd be a damn good precedent to set! "We fucked up and we fixed it"

The current practice is "We fucked up and we know it, but we'll let the records stay fucked up because whats done is done"

Ah! A metaphor! It'd be like a poor speller with the little red spelling line disabled, running spellcheck before submitting an essay, and finding an error in the title of the essay - but still submitting the essay because its already been done. Yeah, its a flawed metaphor, but whatever. I'm frustrated as hell at this situation.

tim said...


“I don’t see how baseball can let that happen...Then every time a team loses a game on a blown call, there’s going to be no good reason why that can’t be overturned as well. It’s a slippery slope. It would fundamentally change the nature of the game. I don’t think you can do that, unfortunately.”

tim said...

Sweet segment

nick said...

I can see the argument that they shouldn't go back and change made calls, even obviously and admittedly blown ones in the middle of games, however I think this situation is different.

The blown call should have been the final out and the final final out was recorded on the next batter. There is no way that a reversal of the call could in any universe be seen as affecting the outcome of the game. This is compounded by the significance of this particular call and what it removes from the historical record of accomplishments thought ought to be properly recorded.

As far as precedent goes, they can use the precedent of Bush v. Gore and refuse to set precedent. "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances...."

9casey said...

It sucks that it happened , but good will come out of this in the long run. Like most things in life something must go wrong, before something changes.....

allan said...

Theo is wrong. What he is saying may refer more to a blown call in the 7th inning or even in the top of the 9th, not to this perfect game. NO FUTURE PLAY IS AFFECTED, as Tim points out. The Tigers still win 3-0. Only 2 AB are altered.

Say Slappy's Slap in 2004 was allowed to stand. The game went on and New York won Game 6 and the ALCS. Afterwards, the umps agree they completely fucked up. But what can they do? If they call Slappy out for interference after the game is over, it fucks with the rest of the game. Do they restart the game the next day at that point? Who knows how it would have turned out? The umpires being unable to do anything because the call happened in the middle of the game would totally suck for us, but there would be no natural recourse.

That is not the case here. Either way, Detroit wins 3-0. No future event is changed. Donald's hit becomes a 3-1 ground out. The 28th batter is wiped out -- like the first 2 innings of a game that is rained out. All hits and walks and errors get erased. They never happened.

This is a very special case. Reversing the call -- to what actually happened -- does nothing to change the game. It merely fixes a very serious mistake.

allan said...

It reminds me of that Red Sox/Yankees game I was at at the old Toilet. Sox up by a run or two, one out from a win, MFY batter flies out to left. Ball is caught. Game over! Boston wins.

BUT the 3B umpire had called time because a fan ran on the field (a little bit). The fan did not affect the pitcher, the batter or the left fielder, but they ruled the play dead -- as if it did not happen.

They started again from the point before that pitch. NY ended up getting 3 hits or so and came back and won the game. It was surreal.

Someone mentioned official scorers changing hits to errors one or two days later. It doesn't change the final score -- and no one bats an eye at that.

In fact, you probably never even know it happens. I have gone back and changed my scorecards because of it, but I'm sure there are several games with changes I never read about and now my scorecards are actually wrong.

I'm babbling, but the point is -- I'm right and you're wrong! :>)

tim said...

Still trying to rationalize the decision... I think the reasoning is "what if Cleveland came back and won the game in top 9 - would we negate all of that?" sort of thing. maybe the precedent should be something along the lines of whether or not the final outcome changed...its definitely a weird situation.

but the final outcome didn't change. so maybe there has to be a special rule for perfect games/no hitters or something, but that rule would be negated by the use of instant replay on close plays like this (and as allan mentioned before, fair/foul hits)

argh - such a stupid play. but i guess i could see how changing it would cause people in the future to bitch about shit. like, say tomorrow night the sox are losing 3-2 in the 9th with one out and the hitter gets wrongly called out on a close play at first to make it two outs. next hitter triples, then the next guy is out.

of course video replay would correct it. but right now we don't have that, and the triple would have tied the game had the original call been right. but then too much changes, the pitcher pitches differently with a runner on first, etc.

way too many variables, but in this situation, as has been mentioned, its very unique. and when all parties involved know it should've been a perfect game, it should've been a perfect game.

but i'm still struggling with the question - what if cleveland had tied/won because of it?

Brad said...

I'm about as "old school" as it gets when it comes to changes or breaking new ground in baseball. I like that baseball is VERY slow to adopt changes and am a romantic about the timelessness of the game. I also like the idea that umpires (like other judges in society) are human and sometimes make the wrong call - but their call is inviolate and we all have to work through that... and believe that in the end it will turn out all right.

The idea that the village idiot, using his office to reverse the call, opens Pandora's box does concern me but this seems to be such a unique instance that I think that (I can't believe I am about to say this) IN THIS ONE INSTANCE that is exactly what he should do.

I know it's possible that this new found power could go to his head and he starts changing balls into strikes, wins into losses, or Dave Henderson's stolen base into an out. But if he will make the criteria so unique that it won't occur again in my lifetime, I would be ok with it. i.e. it deals with an historic event, there is proof beyond any reasonable doubt the call was wrong, the umpire in question agrees with the change, the change is otherwise statistically inconsequential, and the outcome of the game doesn't change. I think the umpires union would be ok with it, the casual fan (that doesn't really give a rat's ass about baseball tradition) and a lot of guys like me would feel like MLB finally got it right without crying havoc and releasing the hounds of war.

Finally, when faced with these "foundational" issues, I like to think "WWGD"... What Would Giamatti Do? He loved the game far more than wanting to be a sycophant for the owners and had a deep reverence for the traditions but I think he would have carved out a very special exception for this event.

Having said that, since he has made the wrong choice to improve MLB's image at viturally every opportunity afforded him, I feel pretty certain Bud will make the wrong one again.

laura k said...

Brad, well said! I completely agree. Perfect.

There's no metaphor I can come up with for this, but seriously - "precedent" - really? It'd be a damn good precedent to set! "We fucked up and we fixed it"


Look, someone even found a good use for Bush V Gore. That means, as 9Casey said, that some good will come out of this travesty.

The wonder of it is that otherwise-smart baseball fans agree with Bud Selig! Surely the end times are here.

Michael said...

I'm with Selig on this one. What's stopping us from revisiting other, more important - as in, World Series-relevant - calls? Sure, PGs move feelings and consciences, but I think it's extremely flimsy to base such a decision on this situation being so ridiculous.

Umpiring is a part of the game. If the umpire says you're safe, then you're safe. That's the way the game works, even if you're "really" out by two steps. If the game is broken, don't pretend it isn't by assuming you can overrule what happens on the field when you don't like - or even when nobody likes it, as in this case.

If anything, I wish this would encourage the powers that be to introduce stronger measures to prevent situations like this from happening in the first place, like a booth umpire with instant replay. Having this kind uproar after the fact is justified, but just clamoring to reverse this one call is incredibly short-sighted, not to mention unfair.

As far as I'm concerned, Galarraga pitched a perfect game. But official records say otherwise, and I'm fine with that too.

allan said...

If the umpire says you're safe, then you're safe ... even if you're "really" out by two steps.

Yet you say changing Joyce's call in Galarraga's game would be "unfair" ...

allan said...

I also like the idea that umpires (like other judges in society) are human and sometimes make the wrong call - but their call is inviolate and we all have to work through that...

Actually, many court decisions are often overturned on appeal.

That's what I want done here.

tim said...

I'm willing to live with it if we get an NFL sort of replay system going ASAP. Each manager is given two challenges per game, and if they succeed on both, they get a third. Obviously there would be things you can and can't challenge (i.e. not balls and strikes) and if used, the crew chief would go to view the video replays and make a decision. Whatever the case, we need this system this year.

johngoldfine said...

Hard cases make bad law, as they say, and this is the hardest of hard cases, as the comments here reflect.

Whatever Selig did or did not do could only have added to the fucked-upness of the situation: giving the perfect game always leaves some people with an asterisk or mental reservation, despite the obvious blown call, and opens the door to future special pleading in lesser circumstances. But leaving it as is infuriates people too since the injustice is manifest.

The Romans said, 'Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.' And justice is surely the loser here.

Nevertheless, and despite my arguments to the contrary and despite bowing to no man in my general loathing of Bud Selig, my innate baseball conservatism says he's right to have left this one alone.

I realize 'innate baseball conservatism' is no real argument, but this isn't a case where statistics reveal the truth and the gut should be ignored.

Anonymous said...

Bud Selig may be an incompetent, worthless asshole...but I agree with his decision.

Game over means it's over.