A few thoughts concerning a not-so-perfect game


Andres Galarraga in April 2009 game
photo by Kevin Ward courtesy of flickr
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Andres Galarraga delivers a pitch against the visiting Chicago White Sox during an April 2009 game. Galarraga was one out shy of pitching a perfect game last week against the Cleveland Indians.


By Larry Peterson
Staff writer

There have been 20 perfect no-hit games tossed in Major League Baseball history, 12 in the American League and eight in the National League.
The 12 American Leaguers who have accomplished the feat are:
Dallas Braden, Oakland, 5-9-2010
Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox, 7-23-2009
David Cone, New York Yankees, 7-18-1999
David Wells, New York Yankees, 5-17-1998
Kenny Rogers, Texas, 7-28-1994
Mike Witt, California, 9-30-1984
Len Barker, Cleveland, 5-15-1981
Catfish Hunter, Oakland, 5-8-1968
Don Larsen, New York Yankees, 10-8-1956 (Game 5, 1956 World Series)
Charlie Robertson, Chicago White Sox, 4-30-1922
Addie Ross, Cleveland, 10-2-1908
Cy Young, Boston Red Sox, 5-5-1904
The eight National League pitchers are:
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia, 5-29-2010
Randy Johnson, Arizona, 5-18-2004
Dennis Martinez, Montreal, 7-28-1991
Tom Browning, Cincinnati 9-16-1988
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles, 9-9-1965
Jim Bunning, Philadelphia, 6-21-1964
Monte Ward, Providence, 6-17-1880
Lee Richmond, Worcester, 6-12-1880
The 21st perfect game was pitched by Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, June 5, 2010, but a blown call by first base umpire Jim Joyce denied Galarraga of the achievement.
Galarraga covered first base on a toss off a ground ball from Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera to retire the 27th Cleveland batter, who was out by one step. However, Joyce was out of position and called the runner safe, negating the perfect game.
A review of the play indicated the runner was out and Joyce admitted he blew the call. The play has obviously created a great deal of controversy.
The question, of course, remains: Should Major League Baseball reverse the decision and credit Galarraga with his well-deserved perfect game?
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has a 14-man advisory board that could technically review the situation. Both Tiger manager Jim Leyland and St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony LaRussa are on that advisory board, and both felt Selig could and should reverse the decision.
La Russa was quoted as saying, “If I was Mr. Selig, in the best interest of the game, the guy got it and I’d give him his perfect game.”
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen expressed a surprising opinion: “I have more respect for that umpire now than I ever have because that was very classy. He faced it like a man and admitted his mistake.”
The person who showed real class was Galarraga, who accepted Joyce’s apology and didn’t make a big issue out of a terrible blunder. (Imagine if Carlos Zambrano was the victim!)
Galarraga retired the next batter and had a one-hit, 3-0 victory, and remarkably threw only 88 pitches. Detroit showed some class by presenting Galarraga with a new Corvette.
Selig would not take questions on the subject the next day, but a spokesman for Selig said the commissioner would not change history.
There have been many opinions pro and con, but one rather simple, possible solution could have been a conference by the umpiring crew. The review showed that the second base umpire had a good view of the play, and after discussion with the entire crew, he could have overruled the call.
It has happened before that the first and third base umpires will make a judgment on a ball or strike call at the request of the home plate umpire several times in every game.
This also has created a call for more video reviews, which has created a lot more controversy.


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