Selig to "examine" umpires, replay; declines to overturn Joyce call

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Selig statement.jpgBud Selig just released a statement on last night’s events. Short version:

  • No word on overturning the call, which I think is a clear signal that he will not do so (UPDATE: Multiple reporters are now hearing that no, Selig will not overturn the decision);
  • A decision to “review” umpiring systems and replay which, as I suspected this morning, is the first step of a long delay job on both of these issues; and
  • A congratulations to Galarraga and Leyland for how they handled themselves after last night’s debacle and an appreciation of Jim Joyce for his “courage,” all three of which I think are well-deserved.

The statement in full:

“First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate
Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who
love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.

“The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers
organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied
good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager
Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult
situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address
this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim’s candor
illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel
throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.

“As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no
dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently. While the
human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital
that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night’s call and
other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded
use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce
any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including
our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which
consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and
presidents.”

Nationals place Koda Glover on 10-day disabled list

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The Nationals have placed reliever Koda Glover on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Glover said he is “extremely confident” that he’ll need only the minimum 10 days to recover.

Glover, 24, felt hip discomfort when throwing his first pitch in Tuesday’s relief appearance. He attributed it to the cold, per Janes.

Glover was one of a handful of candidates to handle the ninth inning for the Nationals. It’s been a mixed bag for him, as he has a loss and a blown save along with a 4.15 ERA and a 6/1 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings.

Clay Buchholz apologized to the Phillies for getting injured

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.

According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.

It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.

Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.

Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.