Posted 06/03/2010 at 12:08 PM
Hopefully the blown call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game on Wednesday gets the wheels in motion for some form of replay in baseball. MLB took baby steps with allowing some replay on home run calls but the time is here to install a system for plays on the bases as well as possibly fair/foul calls and fly ball catch plays in the outfield. While no one wants to delay games any further, if a replay booth official was in place at every game, plays could quickly be reviewed if needed and the delays would be no less than what currently takes place in those situations due to players and managers arguing.
Jim Joyce missed the call but at full speed it certainly was a difficult call, espeically considering the potential bobble in Galarraga's glove which in real time was possible as the ball was caught awkwardly. The magnitude of the sitaution certainly makes this one of the worst missed calls in baseball history but it was the type of call that can be missed either way in any game. In just about every game there will be a call at first base that will be a bang-bang play and replay could provide clarity to get the call right, which is really in the best interest of everyone.
Another game yesterday had an even worse call although it did not end up being outcome-impacting. At third base Angel Hernandez ruled that a Tampa Bay runner missed third base, costing the Rays a run and giving up a key out. On replay it was quite clear that the base was touched. That is the type of call that is rarely made by an umpire, and rarely should be made, and was a far worse call than the tough play Joyce had.
Replay in these situations is the right thing to do and it would come up rarely, probably an average of once per game. It could take a few minutes perhaps but in a game that already has all sorts of breaks worked into it for pitching changes, pinch-runners, coaching visits to the mound, and the like, it would have no real impact on the length of games. Hopefully Jim Joyce will go down in history as the cause of a system that greatly improves baseball rather than the infamy of costing Galarraga a perfect game.