A handful of sports scribes are calling for MLB to credit Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga with a perfect game, what with umpire Jim Joyce admitting to blowing the call on what would have been the 27th out.
The Tigers didn’t protest the game (I don’t think, offhand, that a protest can be pursued by the winning team or on a safe/out call on the bases), so the one precedent (the 1983 pine tar game, when the league reversed an on-field decision to strip a home run from George Brett, requiring the game to be replayed from that point) doesn’t provide any support. And doing so just to preserve one player’s individual accomplishment is antithetical to the point of team sports, in which we celebrate individual achievements that are reached within the flow of the game. It’s not as if the league ordinarily does anything about blown calls even when they decide pennant races or postseason series. Galarraga will be remembered as the guy who earned the distinction, and in a way that’s close enough. Like Harvey Haddix, he’ll go down in history in a way that Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden won’t.
It’s not like we don’t understand blown calls here in the Thunderworld. And besides, Crank’s point seems obvious to me, if only because I actually do remember Harvey Haddix, pitching for the Pirates in 1959, who retired 36 batters in a row, only to lose to the Braves in the bottom of the 13th. As a kid shuffling stats, I found this more fascinating than, say, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.