Baseball is unique in its occasional celebration of the "human element" involved in the sport. You won't see basketball fans cheering refs for calling a game close, or football fans applauding any significant number of flags. But for some reason an exceptionally tight strike zone or the "bang-bang" plays at first are, while exasperating for many in any given game, considered part of the charm of America's past time.
I don't like it. I know a lot of other people don't like it either. I can see how different interpretations of the zone make each game unique, sure, but give the ump cameras so he can actually see the ball. Show me if a guy is actually safe or out. Make the right call, or at least put yourself in the best possible position to do so.
That's why I really hope Bud Selig does not reverse the call, right the wrong, and declare Armando Galarraga perfect.
In last year's ALDS, a Joe Mauer line drive was called foul in a close game 2 against the Yankees. It was not. The call likely cost the Twins at least a tying run if not the whole game. The resulting uproar made me almost certain that instant replay was inevitable. Instead, the series moved on, the playoffs moved on, and it became just another piece of lore in baseball's long history.
How did this end up so neatly swept under the rug? If you ask me, it was a matter of the stakes being too high and the mess to difficult to untangle. They couldn't very well play the series over, and so we all forgot.
Here we have a different situation. This is a very easily erased mistake. Bud Selig could reach into the record books, change a single to an out, and place Armando Galarraga on a very exclusive list. And that would be a shame, because it would be ignoring the big picture.
"We need instant replay!" say the masses.
"No we don't," says Mr. Selig, "he has his Perfect Game now. We got it right even without instant replay."
Right now there is outrage. Armando Galarraga has been robbed, and something about the rules of baseball needs to be changed. If Selig really wants to avoid instant replay, really wants to keep the human element in the equation, he would be smart to change the call. Because then it would be much more likely to go away, and deprive baseball and its fans of a much needed change. The individual accomplishment can be dealt with after the game has been fixed.