June 8, 2010
A Perfect GameLast week Armando Galarraga of the Tigers almost pitched a perfect game. Actually he did, but at the last possible moment an ump made a terrible call and called the runner safe at first even though he was clearly thrown out by at least a step. My dad even said in all his years watching baseball, this was the worst call he'd ever seen. Afterward the ump was deeply remorseful and said he was "convinced he'd beat the throw, until he saw the replay."
Pitching a perfect game is incredibly rare and to do so would surely be one of the major highlights of any pitcher's career. There have only been 20 perfect games ever pitched. Oddly, the last two were within the previous 25 days prior to Galarraga's near perfect game. A lot of people rightfully would argue that this event is the perfect justification to bring instant replay into the game. But I would disagree: bad calls, even bad calls as terrible as this one, are part of baseball. Human error is a big and important aspect of the game. Just like the variances in each stadium have an effect on the game, the weather, and so many other factors have an effect on the game. Bad calls have always been part of the game. Baseball is perfect without technology. If all the technology that exists today that didn't exist 50 years ago suddenly vanished, baseball would be just fine. It is very much an unfair shame that Galarraga was robed the glory of pitching a perfect game, but in my opinion, its that human aspect that gives heart to the game.