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Perfectability

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  June 3, 2010 10:48 AM

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C'mon, Bud. Right over there is An Occasion. Rise to it.

Call a press conference today, this minute, and tell the world that, as far as baseball is concerned, Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game last night for Detroit against the Cleveland Indians and that, as far as baseball and its history going forward are concerned, Jason Donald was out and the game was over and anything that happened after Jim Joyce's unfortunate brain-lock didn't really happen. Everybody agrees that it was a perfect game.

What's the downside? Tiny statistical glitches? Jason Donald is deprived of a hit? Forgive me, but I couldn't care less. The game remains a 3-0 Detroit victory. Nothing of any import changes except for the egregious mistake, which ought to be a good thing.

And, yes, I realize that what happened last night is a Great Lesson For All The Children. Just this morning, the crew on Morning Joe, aka Two And A Half Hacks, were waxing all rhapsodic about how nobly Galarraga acted, and how thoroughly Joyce accepted responsibility -- which is comedy gold, considering the makeup of that panel, by the way -- and that is all very true. But it leaves the obvious injustice in place, and that doesn't have to be the case.

I mean, it's not like there aren't already fluky perfect games dotting the major-league record book. The first recorded one was by a guy pitching for the Worcester Ruby Legs. (Major leagues? Please. ) And, for 74 years, they counted Ernie Shore's having thrown one in June of 1917, despite the fact that Babe Ruth started the game by walking Ray Morgan and then slugging the home plate umpire. This earned him an ejection, which brought on Shore in relief. Morgan got thrown out trying to steal and, until they changed the rules in 1991, Shore got credit for a perfect game because he retired the next 27 guys. How is that less complicated than what I am suggesting? Let's give Galarraga seven decades, too. He more than earned them.

 

ossie davis.jpg

 

Hey, doctor. Always do the right thing. 

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