Commissioner Bud Selig is going to have a very interesting press conference.
Commissioner Selig needs to address two issues.
First, Commissioner Selig needs to commend Armando Galarraga for how he conducted himself last night. Galarraga should have been heralded this morning for the perfect game he threw against the Cleveland Indians last night.
Instead, first base umpire Jim Joyce blew what should have been the last play of the game. Instead of calling Jason Donald out at first base, Joyce ruled that Donald beat Galarraga to first base on a toss made by Miguel Cabrera to the bag.
In Joyce’s own words, he “kicked the s*%t out of the call!”
Galarraga didn’t curse Joyce out. Galarraga didn’t charge Joyce and get in his face. No, Galarraga smiled and shook his head.
After the game, Galarraga told the media that he thought that Joyce probably felt worse about missing the call than Galarraga felt about being denied a perfect game. Galarraga then reminded everybody that Joyce was human and that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
Who is this guy? Doesn’t Galarraga know that we are talking about Major League Baseball?
Galarraga is acting as if he is playing a kid’s game for fun. Galarraga is acting if he understands that there is more to life than baseball.
What are we fans supposed to think about Galarraga in a sports era dominated by performance-enhancing drug-taking prima donnas?
How many of us in the same situation could have hoped to act with as much grace as Galarraga in the face of pitching a perfect game?
Galarraga exhibited a degree of class, humanity, and genuine charity toward umpire Jim Joyce last night that needs to be highlighted and praised by Commissioner Selig.
Commissioner Selig needs to take time to recognize Galarraga for how he played last night as a pitcher, but more importantly, Commissioner Selig needs to say something about Galarraga handled himself as a man.
Second, Commissioner Selig is going to need to say something about the need for instant replay in baseball.
Commissioner Selig doesn’t need to say how the league is going to implement instant replay but he does need to say that the league needs to adopt instant replay.
Jim Joyce was emphatic after the game that he looked at the instant replay and was convinced that he missed the call.
Joyce was upset for Galarraga because he took a great effort away from Galarraga. Joyce was upset because he took Galarraga’s place in baseball history away from Galarraga.
More importantly, Joyce, with tears in his eyes and emotion in his voice, said he absolutely felt sick about missing the call.
The Commissioner needs to remind baseball fans that the guy who was most upset about missing the call was Joyce. Baseball umpires do a fantastic job getting in the right position and getting calls right because they truly care about getting the call right.
Yes, there are calls that are missed, but fans need to appreciate that the reason why certain missed calls stick out in our memory is because missed calls happen so infrequently during the course of a season.
The Commissioner has an opportunity to build some goodwill among the players, umpires, and fans by extolling Galarraga and by reminding us that everyone involved in the game is emotionally invested in making sure that all the calls in the game are right.
Hopefully, Commissioner Selig won’t squander the opportunity.