A Perfect Game, A Perfect Crime

Evan WinkofskyContributor IJune 3, 2010

Detroit -- With 26 up and 26 down Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from perfection. Something only 20 pitchers in major league history have accomplished.

The Tigers led the Indians 3-0 with shortstop Jason Donald coming to the plate.

He sent a ground ball to Tiger's first basemen Miguel Cabrera, who hesitated just a bit to give Galarraga time to cover first and provided a throw in-time to record the final out.

Galarraga raised his arms ready to receive his teammates in pure exultation. Only to have the moment stripped a split second later.

First base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe at first and ended a dream shared by every major leaguer to ever step on the mound.

"I feel sad," Galarraga said. "I just watched the replay 20 times and there's no way you can call him safe."

Galarraga's perfect day goes into the stat sheet as a one-hit shutout.

Instant replay clearly showed the throw was in time. A blown call erased a chance at history for the 28 year-old Galarraga.

After the game, Joyce emphatically said he was wrong and later, in tears, hugged Galarraga and apologized.

"It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the [stuff] out of it," Joyce said. "I just cost that kid a perfect game."

Instant Replay must be expanded to cover plays on the base paths. Baseball purists can only argue against it for so long.

Times have changed and once again the sport that has such a love affair with the legends of the past has forgotten to keep moving forward.

The Galarraga "incident" is just another log to fuel the fire for Instant Replay... but a log soaked in lighter-fluid.