What you're saying about the Joyce-Galarraga call


Joyce blown call.jpgThe best thing about this blog are the comments. Sure, there are some knuckleheads that show up here from time to time, but find me any comments section of any major website that has as consistently high-quality conversation and argument as this one and I’ll eat my hat. And if any of you saw me in that video yesterday you know one thing about me: I’m a man who needs a hat.

The quality of HBT’s readership shows up the best when a big controversial thing happens like the Joyce call last night. People obviously disagreed about the replay thing and people disagree about whether Selig should have overturned the call — which he didn’t — but, a couple of those lovable knuckleheads notwithstanding, everyone in the HBT comments had had a pretty sober and insightful take on it. Let’s share, shall we?

On instant replay:

  • JimmyY: If we can see the play on TV within 30 seconds and determine it was a
    bad call instant replay can surely be implemented . . . Getting it right
    and undoing an injustice, that’s what matters not some lame excuses.
  • Josh: If I were an umpire, I would be begging for this. Who wants to be the
    next Jim Joyce / Don Denkinger?
  • Catch 22:
    My father was a professional umpire. Not major leagues,
    but still a professional umpire. As he used to say, the umpires call is
    as much a part of the game as any player on the field. While I am not against the replay system that Mr. Calcaterra is
    recommending, the way a game is called by the umpire is what it is.
  • Andy: No matter if this call is overturned or not, nothing will
    replace the emotion that could have been felt in Comerica Park tonight.
    Nothing will replace the fact that Galarraga walked into a locker room
    with fans booing instead of cheering. Nothing will give him his moment
    back. As someone who was born and raised in Detroit, we are used to rolling
    with the punches. I’ve had enough. Instant replay is needed, and now.
    Five extra minutes could have lead to a spectacular night for a
    pitcher, and an entire city.

On Bud Selig overturning the call and giving Galarraga the perfecto

  • JoeRo23: I’m not in favor of this happening in any other situation, but this is
    that one special, unique, once in a lifetime case, in my mind, in which I
    think MLB should change the call and give Galarraga his perfect game.
    There could not be fewer repercussions than in this situation – he’d
    change (fix is a better word) the outcome of a SINGLE at-bat, and
    nullify the following at-bat (taking an out away from the guy who was
    the eventual 27th out of the game, so he won’t mind).
  • Kirk: It’s ALWAYS amazing to see anyone argue against doing the right thing.
    What’s the point of being the commissioner if he cannot correct errors.
    If not he’s useless and might as well be a sports reporter!
  • Tim J: My sons and I were at the game…as much as I would like to have
    witnessed a perfecto, we feel like we did. I’m mounting the kid’s
    tickets on small plaques for them with text like “Galarraga’s 1-hit
    perfect game”…lol. I felt sick to my stomach after the call but after
    finding out that it was a blown call, I was angry. BUT I don’t think it
    should be reversed. It would be selfish of me to want that. What about
    all of the calls over time that may have robbed someone else of a piece
    of history? At least it was cool to be a part of it all.
  • Matt J: I’m not looking forward to a do-over culture invading baseball. This conversation strikes me as vaguely reminiscent of Little League
    coaches believing themselves to be Earl Weaver and playing a game under
    protest because of a close call at first base in the second inning of a
    game in mid-March. Calls can’t be arbitrarily made “correct.” There is
    integrity (in a limited, sports sense) in making a mistake and
    realizing the result. There is no integrity (again in the most limited
    sense) in changing something the next day.
  • CA: The contention that commissioner intervention to overturn Joyce’s call
    would set some sort of dangerous precedent is overly legalistic. If the
    commissioner has the power to see that justice is served in an obvious
    case like this, then why shouldn’t he do it?

On Jim Joyce having to live with this forever:

  • Kyle S: Instead of a celebration of a perfect game it’s a pity
    party for an umpire. I’m sick of hearing about umpires. He ruined something that would have been huge for a lot of people. It’s his job to get important calls right and he didn’t do his job. I
    have no sympathy.
  • J Rose: I think the the way everyone involved reacted should be used as an
    example of how to handle tough situations with dignity and class. From
    Galarraga to Joyce to the Tigers players, they handled it just about as
    well as anyone could, and much better than the fans are. They are trying
    to set an example, yet the angy mob doesn’t seem to be following their
  • doug: The problem with this piece is that Jim Joyce’s feelings
    are meaningless compared to the feelings of Armando Galarraga who,
    through no fault of his own, had his victory stolen in a way that
    frankly appears to be almost intentional. In short: why should we car how Jim Joyce “feels?”
  • Nick: I feel for Joyce because he owned up to the mistake and apologized. But
    no matter what, he will never live this down and that’s unfortunate.
    No one deserves to have one mistake in a freakin’ game define their

  • Tom: Everyday people must suffer the consequences of bad decisions made on their jobs every day.  Umpires should be no different.  While the apology is nice, it is not enough.  Joyce should be fined or suspended.

Tough crowd, and as often happens, I’m in the distinct minority when it comes to this stuff.  That’s fine. If everyone agrees with me I’m probably not doing my job.

Anyway, thanks for all of your comments, folks. And keep them coming.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.

The Diamondbacks met with Johnny Cueto’s agent

AP Photo/David Goldman
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Update (7:58 PM EST): Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart met with Cueto earlier this month in the Dominican Republic and made a contract offer that the right-hander turned down. The Diamondbacks maintain interest in the free agent.


Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Diamondbacks spoke with Bryce Dixon, the agent of free agent starter Johnny Cueto. However, Rosenthal notes that Cueto’s price tag is expected to exceed the Diamondbacks’ comfort level.

Cueto, 29, is one of a handful of highly touted starting pitchers in this offseason’s free agent class. He is joined by David Price and Zack Greinke, among others. Jordan Zimmermann inked a deal in the neighborhood of $110 million over five years with the Tigers on Sunday morning, which will serve as a barometer for Cueto.

Cueto finished the 2015 regular season, between the Reds and the Royals, with a 3.44 ERA and a 176/46 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. He made 13 shaky starts with the Royals, but outside of a shellacking in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, pitched well in the post-season. Cueto pitched a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, helping put the Royals up two games to none at the time.

As a result of switching teams during the season, Cueto was not eligible to receive a $15.8 million qualifying offer. This means that Cueto, unlike Zimmermann for example, does not come attached with draft pick compensation.

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski is reportedly trying to trade Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe

Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.

Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.

Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.

Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.

Ben Zobrist is the “Mets’ No. 1 target”

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.

His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …

It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?

Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.