I do not want Major League Baseball to overturn the incorrect call that likely cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. I know I am in the minority on this one, but I view baseball as more sport than entertainment. As a result, even though changing the call would create a feel good story, I think it would generate a question about the integrity of the game. In my opinion, I feel that the integrity of the game is far more at risk by creating a precedent where the commissioner of the league can retroactively alter the outcome of games by reversing in-game umpire decisions, than by upholding the game ‘as is.’

Without proof that the call was made in bad faith (i.e., cheating), there should be no reason to now, after the game, overturn the call. The idea that public outcry can force the commissioner to reverse in-game decisions and alter the outcome of games is scary. It would absolutely push baseball, and any other sport, over the edge into full entertainment, like the WWE. It would make baseball more of a show, than a competition. The play would be overturned, the perfect game put into the record books, and the balloons would drop from the sky, which would all make for great TV.

Did the umpire make the wrong call? Yes. Of course. The slow-motion replay clearly proves that to us. Nevertheless, I disagree with the degree of egregiousness people are assigning to the call. I still watch the replays and it looks close to a tie in real-time. To further complicate my Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking, I have yet to view a replay that was actually from the umpires viewpoint. The man made an honest judgment call. Leyland had the opportunity to argue the call, but he failed to convince Joyce to overturn the call. This is significant because in baseball, unlike other sports, umpires actually will overturn a call. Just this past weekend, Bobby Cox convinced the homeplate umpire to overturn his call that Gregg Dobbs had been hit on the pants of his shin by the ball. Nothing in bad faith happened here. Nothing outside of the rules of the game occurred.

For those in favor of reversing the umpire’s call, I ask you: why now? How is this call more offensive than the call at the end of the Rockies/Padres tiebreaker three years ago? In the 13th inning of a game tied 6-6, Matt Holliday rounds third base, slides into home to score the game-winning and game-ending run, and then the Rockies go on to play in the World Seres. In that game, the replay clearly shows that Holliday never touched homeplate even though the umpire called him safe. It is hard to argue that yesterday’s incorrect call meant more than the call in the tiebreaker. That game sent the Padres home and potentially altered the entire National League playoff! This would have been an incredible personal accomplishment for a young kid, but they do not even compare.

Nonetheless, this does show that its time for baseball to institute a wider use of instant replay. In my opinion, baseball only has limited replay because the umpires’ union is scared that they will be replaced by machines. Now they are scared for the safety for Joyce’s family. After yesterday’s blown call, I definitely expect them to soften their stance. The legacy of an umpire with an outstanding record will now forever be tarnished and infamous because “human error is part of the game.” It’s time for progression — not reversal.

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