Imagine, if you will, that you had just purchased a winning lottery ticket. You just did something that very few people can claim they have done: You won the lottery.
Now imagine right after you win the lottery, Jim Joyce walks up to you and throws your winning ticket in the shredder and minutes later publicly apologizes for the error of his ways.
Everything is good right?
Didn’t think so.
Sure, you can tell everyone that you had a winning lottery ticket, but the fact is that you will not be given the money without the ticket. The apology didn’t bring your ticket back, and it probably doesn’t help you feel much better either.
The same concept applies to this (non)perfect game.
Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game in the eyes of the fans, the analysts, and most media outlets. Even in the eyes of Jim Joyce, Galarraga threw a perfect game. But the fact remains that MLB does not recognize this as a perfect game, and that is a travesty.
A lot of people are giving Joyce tons of credit for apologizing. Sure, it’s noble, but I don’t think he really had a choice. He just destroyed an average pitcher’s chance to go into the record books as one out of 21 to do something in history (still a really special achievement, despite the fact two others have already done it this past three weeks).
Sure, legend could grow, and this could be up there with the 1985 World Series and the Brett Hull in the crease call. We recognize these as errors, but we have not yet awarded the Cards a title or handed the Sabres a Cup. Everyone knows these were mistakes, but it never changed any records, and unfortunately this will be the case here. It would be shocking if the MLB decided to overturn the call, no matter how obvious it seems.
Definitely, and I’m guessing not many will object in this case, but it is a slippery slope that the MLB has been avoiding.