Near perfect

Among the things I missed during my disconnect to the world this week were the events in Detroit on Wednesday night …

Because I had no cable, I was utterly oblivious to any of it until I booted up my computer at work Thursday morning and started skimming through my e-mail, Facebook updates and my news alerts for the morning …

Then, there was the headline …

I hadn’t seen the game. I hadn’t seen any highlights, and I hadn’t taken the time to find the play on YouTube.

… Until now. After writing that last sentence, I logged on and spent the last hour reviewing clips from the game.

Clearly, the runner was out.

(There’s some good amateur video of the play, too. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a big moment in sports or pop culture if there wasn’t someone reimagining the cinematic Hitler scene in good fun … See: Northern Iowa beats KU and Michael Jackson’s death.)

On a side note ... Holy Cow! A THIRD perfect game in the span of a month!? A second in the span of a week!?! Are you kidding  me!? It will be remembered as a perfect game, after all ...

The debate about overturning the call started immediately. And Jim Joyce’s candid admission after the game was an awesome turn of events …

Based on that, initially, I would have said overturn the call -- for the reasons Michael Wilbon cited in his column.

But later Thursday afternoon, I saw the headline that Bud Selig had declined to reverse the call and I could immediately understand his hesitation.

By reversing the call, he sets a precedent, and then what? He opens up a gargantuan can of worms that represents more than a century of questionable calls …

...The Bartman play?

...The entire 2005 ALCS?

...The Jeffery Maier play?

...Don Don Denkinger’s first base call in the 1985 World Series?

...Barry Bonds and the home run records?

Selig would get pummeled by the historians and traditionalists if he reversed the call.

In the end, it is what it is. It happened, within the rules of the game. Baseball will go on, just like it always has. It's a game played by humans, umpired by humans, as it should be.

And all of us will debate it for years to come.

Here's some of the good reads -- and mentions -- on the situation ...
a Perfect Game Thwarted by Faulty Call
a Third perfect game? Joyce’s botched call in ninth denies Tigers’ Galarraga
a Bernie Bytes: Jim Edmonds, Bud Selig, Lakers and “Dexter”
a Kristen Stewart leads the Week of Apologies
a Morning Jolt ... Scroll down to see the Photo of the Day
a Replay Gets Another Look After a Gaffe Seen by All
a Worst Call Ever? Sure. Kill the Umpires? Never.
a One day after botched call, Motor City takes higher road
a Ump impressed with support
a Nearly Perfect in Detroit ... An excellent op-ed piece by Paul Clemens

Crazier yet, the entire episode overshadowed the abrupt retirement of Ken Griffey Jr.

He was a great one.

Here's a classic about the enduring popularity (and ubiquity) of the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. card ... Oh, how I know the card.

Update 06.07.10:

Selig doubts replay use will expand ... After all that's happened, I'm a little dissappointed by this.

An excellent read about Jim Joyce: How Jim Joyce went from Toledo to the bigs to national scrutiny

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