Selig is out of touch, blows the bigger call, needs to be MLB’s Mother Nature.

It used to be America’s past time. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. I remember growing up with that little jingle during baseball games. Well Chevy, and the rest of America’s automakers, is in the toilet. Apple Pie is loaded in fat and as people watch their waistlines, they are passing on a piece. Just take a look at how crappy McDonald’s Apple pie is these days. It’s not deep-fried. It’s baked and frankly, disgusting. Hot Dogs are like the worst thing you can eat, yet we still swallow them. Now, we’re swallowing MLB’s old way of thinking. MLB has spent years slipping in popularity to the NFL. More seats are empty at nearly every stadium. Baseball officials don’t have an answer.
It’s amazing how my opinion can rotate 180 degrees overnight. Just last night, I was watching MLB Network and I was thrilled with its’ coverage of Armando Galarraga’s near-perfect game. I was thinking how baseball has evolved from the days when I was a kid. We’d get maybe 40 games a season on TV, to the creation of the MLB package on cable and DirecTV, to now the instant gratification of in-game switching on the MLB Network. And once the damage was done and Jim Joyce had blown it, MLB Network was all over it. I stuck with the HD channel for about an hour. I saw the great inside coverage in the locker room, I heard from Jim Leyland, and I heard from Armando Galarraga. MLB was owning it.
But MLB and more importantly commissioner Bud Selig blew it today. This afternoon he had a chance to reach out and satisfy millions of fans. He could have done the right thing. Now I have to admit, even I thought to myself yesterday, “There’s no way he can reverse that call, and just pretend that the following batter’s AB didn’t count.” But then I thought, “why not? In rainouts under 5 innings, the games are washed away, and restarted from scratch. Rain has nullified Home runs, strikeouts, and other key plays. So, why couldn’t Selig play the role of MLB’s Mother Nature?
Some people believe the old saying, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Any publicity is good publicity. And what is better than sports controversy? ESPN, Fox Sports, and national networks would all be jumping on the baseball bandwagon. This was Selig’s chance to hold a press conference, and say something like this,

“Baseball’s forefathers missed out on the advancements that life now can offer us. While the structure of the game relies on the human eye, we cannot ignore at how baseball has to evolve as a sport. Therefore, after consulting with owners, general managers, managers, players, and their unions, I am announcing that MLB is reversing Jim Joyce’s call, and thereby awarding MLB’s 21st perfect game to Armando Galarraga. The subsequent at bat will be erased from the record books.”

It would have been the lead of the evening news. It would have ranked as high or higher on SportsCenter than game one of the NBA finals. The commissioner steps in. Mr. Selig, who really are you worried about? The establishment? I’m a die hard fan of the game in my late 30’s. I am a proud fan of historical baseball, and probably know more about the compelling stars and stories of the 1910s and 1920s, than I know about the 2000’s. Mr. Selig, you’re losing me. I’m one of those fans who needs to see the game change. Sure a few Hall of Famers’ feathers will be ruffled. Without naming names, we know who the outspoken ones are. The guys who speak loudest about the steroid era, the guys who work so hard to keep Pete Rose out of the Hall.
You could have been a hero. You could have injected life into a stagnant sport. It is indeed stagnant. You’ve got three or four teams who are there every year. Since the abomination known as the strike shortened 1994 season, only a handful of teams have won. Florida obviously is the exception to the rule that money wins titles. But look at the other winners. Big market teams. Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, White Sox, Angels… then you have Marlins, Cardinals, and Atlanta, who although they weren’t a huge market, they were a dynasty.
MLB could have been the hot topic. Sports Illustrated would have put you on the cover. You would have had a platform for discussing how MLB is going to be bigger and better in the future. Right now, nobody cares. And other sports leagues could have followed your lead. For the first time in a long time, baseball could have set a trend. All that you have now, with your typical lack of action, is more disdain. Why didn’t you put an asterisk on Barry Bonds’ home run record? Because the game is the game. Well what you did by standing pat in this situation was to put an asterisk on Armando Galarraga. There will never be a time when someone mentions a perfect game, that they don’t mention the gigantic mistake from last night. The symbol for Galarraga can always be found on the keyboard. It’s right there above the number 8. One big *. As for you Mr. Selig, you too have earned a symbol on the keyboard. It’s right above the /. It’s called a ?. You deserve it. What you needed to be was @, as in at the right place making the right decision, or the !, as in you put your mark on the matter. For others far more generous than me, you probably get a few extra marks. Something like, #$%!^+=, sotospeak.


~ by sotospeaks on June 3, 2010.

7 Responses to “Selig is out of touch, blows the bigger call, needs to be MLB’s Mother Nature.”

  1. […] Visit Author:… […]

  2. See the Galarraga Perfect Game Petition Facebook page:

    http://www.facebook .com/#!/group.php?gi d=131329056883481&am p;v=info

    Go fire off an email to Selig!

  3. Joyce stole his 15 minutes of fame from Galarraga by making the wrong call. Had he made the correct call he would have worked in obscurity for the rest of his working life. Next up, we will see Joyce profiting from this event by doing commercials, books and paid appearances. Who says this call was mistake? My guess agents are approaching him as we speak.

    • Very insightful. You think Joyce will end up on Oprah soon? Great comment!

    • I think that this comment is unfair. I don’t see Joyce in the same way as West, the one who tossed Mark Bheurle and Ozzie Guillen. Plenty of honest mistakes happen in Baseball. Most of the time they get it right, but it is preposterous to expect them to be perfect. I also don’t see how Selig could go back and change the call. It just wouldn’t feel right. But I think what this episode shows is the absolute need for expanded instant replay. It needs to be available. Maybe they never use it. But the umpire needs to be able to use it.

  4. I agree honest mistakes do happen. I am glad Joyce hasn’t been vilified. I do believe baseball should have made a change. The game needs a shakeup. Operating under the same continue guidelines and patterns won’t lead to an improved sport. Make the change now, fix the instant replay immediately. Selig could have said, “the game and some of its’ players have been short-changed enough.”
    Baseball needed to do something that was unprecedented.

  5. Yes, Joyce will profit from his “mistake”. Anything that stirs up the media nowadays is a profit. People like Oprah Winfrey love to interview whoever is making the news, because it puts HER in the news. If a far blew through, whispering Oprah’s name she’d yell “Smell that?!? A fart is calling my name!”

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