Let's stop kidding ourselves.
Judging from the way the country blew up about yesterday's incident in which Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game, you'd think it was Game Seven of the World Series and the ordeal had somehow changed the outcome.
It's human nature to demand change when something doesn't work out the way we want it to. I can understand the myriad of cries for instant replay in light of yesterday's now infamous call.
Unfortunately, we all need to come to terms with the fact that this is just baseball, and these things happen.
The game does not need instant replay.
No, I'm not just a traditionalist who misses baseball the way it was in "the old days." I'm 23 years old and have no memory of baseball at all before 1995. But I understand the attributes that make baseball the best game it can be. Human error, coupled with the fundamental simplicity of having nine guys on the field and four guys in blue—and no one else—is one of them.
I feel bad for Armando Galarraga. But it was evident in his demeanor as he calmly took the mound again after the would-be 27th out and finished the game that he knows just as we should that these things happen.
And let's face it—a perfect game isn't that big a deal.
Sure, it's the rarest occurrence in baseball. But when it's all said and done, all that matters in baseball are wins and losses. Even the most perfect of perfect games doesn't net you more than one win.
Not to mention it isn't even a recognized statistic, like complete games and shutouts are. It's an occurrence that has been glorified by fans and the media to mean more than it actually does. Had the botched call on Wednesday night had any bearing on the outcome of the game, you can bet Major League Baseball would've stepped in in a second and done something about it.
As it stands, you can bet that in a couple of years, no one will even remember the play, and baseball will keep chugging along the way it has been, only using instant replay for potential home run calls.
Sure, it's a shame for Galarraga. But as the kid displayed yesterday, he's got some dominant stuff and most likely has a long career ahead of him.
Remember CC Sabathia's should-have-been no-hitter in August of 2008?
Brewers-Pirates. Andy LaRoche hits a dribbler in front of the plate that CC can't field cleanly in the bottom of the fifth. It was a difficult play that could have gone into the books as either an error or a base hit. The official scorer calls it a hit, and wouldn't you know it, it ends up being the only Pittsburgh hit of the game.
Ask a random baseball fan, and they won't remember the no-hitter that should have been. The only thing that sticks out in anyone's memory of CC's short tenure in Milwaukee is him leading them to the playoffs that year.
Now one of the biggest-name pitchers in baseball, Carston Charles is proof that a near no-hitter is nothing to get hung up on and that you can have a perfectly fine career despite it.
The topic of instant replay is only brought up in baseball in the incredibly rare instance where something like Jim Joyce's blown call last night happens. The fact is, that call is made correctly 99.9 percent of the time.
If instant replay is implemented, all it would add to the game is a pointless five-minute delay whenever a manager doesn't agree with a call.
99.9 percent of the time, the umpires will have made the right call, and it will stand.
Do we really want instant replay? Think about it before you go arguing for something that will strip the game of its already dwindling appeal.
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