We have to talk today about one of the biggest officiating blunders in recent memory. That's right. We have to talk about Jim Joyce's bad call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game. If you didn't see it:
Joyce admitted the botched call, saying: "I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat he throw, until I saw the replay. I don’t blame (the Tigers) a bit or anything that was said. I would’ve said it myself it I had been Galarraga. I would’ve been the first person in my face, and he never said a word to me."
The result of last night's terrible call has many shouting for extended replay. Even some are suggesting that Bud Selig intervene, reverse the call and give Galarraga his perfect game. However, I highly doubt that happens and even if it does, it would be a hollow reward that will still be best remembered as the game in which Jim Joyce missed the call.
And you have to feel bad for Joyce. He believed he had the call right -- though after watching replay, how can you believe it was the right call? He admitted his mistake, approached Galarraga personally after the game to apologize. In the end, is this a big deal? Sure, the league's 21st perfect game ever pitched was lost. But also, in the end, the Tigers still won and no matter what the score was, it has little meaning on any implications outside of personal achievement.
Yes. Baseball, and every other sport, should have an instant replay system that's a little more lenient than the approved plays that can be replayed. Jayson Stark wrote it best. "I think it should be this sport's No. 1 priority to get the Big Call right if at all possible." The Big Call. Subjective? Yes. Seeing the big picture? Yes. Even the NFL misses on this, using a list of approved plays in which controversial calls can be reviewed and even "common sense reviews", such as missed field goals that were called good, at one point weren't allowed to be reviewed. Through all of this, the best system, I believe, is college football. They can replay everything, and 95% of the time they review plays, you never know about it because they do it between plays. If a review needs more time, or a change is needed on the field, play is stopped. Generally speaking, it's as efficient as it gets and doesn't add too much time to the overall game being played. In the end, you want to get the play right.
+ With the Jim Joyce news beating the headline drum, one of the bigger news hitting closer to home is Ken Griffey Jr's announcement that he's retiring from baseball.
"While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction," Griffey said.
Griffey had a not-so-awesome career in Cincinnati, plagued season after season with serious injuries. Junior finished with 210 homeruns with Reds. Do you think Griffey goes into the Hall of Fame as a Red or a Mariner?
+ In the final posting of baseball blurbs for this Banter that I'm sure some non-baseball fans are rolling their eyes to, we have to talk about the Reds. Well, there's not much to say. Chris Carpenter dominated us again. What else is there to say? Both teams now share the division lead after the Cardinals beat the Reds 4-1.
+ Last Friday, Paul Brown Stadium suffered a minor flash fire in the "the main electrical system" that cost $40,000 to repair. According to Sharon Coolidge, power was down for 18 hours (h/t Mike for the story).
+ Bengals four-game ticket packs will go on sale on June 7 at 9 a.m. Per Joe Reedy:
ORANGE PACK: Sept. 19 vs. Baltimore, Oct. 10 vs. Tampa Bay, Nov. 8 vs. Pittsburgh (Monday night) and Dec. 5 vs. New Orleans.
BLACK PACK: Oct. 31 vs. Miami, Nov. 21 vs. Buffalo, Dec. 19 vs. Cleveland and Dec. 26 vs. San Diego (Sunday night).
+ There's a massive log-jam of players competing to become return specialists.
As far as who might be back there this season, there are a lot of candidates. On kick returns, you have Scott, Jordan Shipley, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Dez Briscoe, Cosby, Tom Nelson and Andre Caldwell. On punts, factor in Cosby, Jones, Davis, Shipley and Nelson.
+ Former Bengals wide receiver Kelley Washington wasn't offered an UFA tender by the Ravens.
+ On the other hand, Shayne Graham is officially a Baltimore Raven. The one-year deal is worth $2.5 million.