“YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!”
John MacEnroe used that famous line to shout at referees 40 years ago over what he perceived as a bad call. The same line was repeated last night at my television. After Wilmer Flores had checked Wilmer’s swing, the Dodgers beat the Giants to win their NCLS series. He was then called out. I’m a Dodgers fan but yes he clearly checked his swing. Gabe Morales was the umpire at first base for the Dodgers. Morales signaled “swing” and the game was over. This was undoubtedly a horrible call. It’s also not reviewable because it’s a subjective call
Sports Illustrated was founded to address this issue. tweetThe absurd question: Are robot umpires necessary? This question was begging for angry replies and clicks, but not real answers. The correct answer can only be found in one place. There is only one correct answer.
There is a place for mechanical helpers in baseball and last night’s blown call isn’t one of them. MLB uses video review for certain things; Safe or Out, In or Out. To illustrate, was a runner able to reach first base after the fielder captured the ball? This question can now be reviewed in MLB. Video review wasn’t available 11 years ago when umpire Jim Joyce robbed Armando Galarraga of a perfect game.
Detriot Tiger welcomed the Cleveland Indians to their home on June 2, 2010. Gallarraga had one more chance to throw a perfect game. Gallarraga covered Jason Donald’s groundball and won the toss. Although Donald’s foot was at least foot away from the bag, and everyone with a pair of eyeballs could see that Donald was out, Joyce called “safe”. Donald felt out even though there wasn’t a video review. Donald was declared safe, and it is incontrovertible that he was out.
With the grounding of the next batter, it was over.
Some obvious inequalities have been corrected by baseball. It’s recognized the Negro Leagues as major leagues and some of the greats of the Negro Leagues are in the Hall of Fame, now.
It could do what the MLB should again. It could correct the obvious blown call by Jim Joyce and award Gallarraga an official “Perfect Game”. Yes, Baseball purists’ heads would explode, but it would evidence that the MLB isn’t run by robots. Doing so wouldn’t affect the game results other than take an undeserved hit away from Donald and award Gallarraga his deserved Perfect Game.
Only the MLB needs to acknowledge an error. But it won’t. It won’t.