What you're saying about the Joyce-Galarraga call

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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
    lead.
  • 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
    life.

  • 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.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.