SBD/Issue 184/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Selig Still OK With Galarraga Decision, But Will Review Replay

Selig Says He Would Not Rule Out Expanding
Instant Replay By End Of Season

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, speaking to reporters during last night's first round of the MLB Draft, said he was "extremely comfortable" with last week's decision in which he elected not to alter the on-field call by umpire Jim Joyce nullifying a perfect game by Detroit P Armando Galarraga. "In this job, precedents are very important. A lot of people don't really understand that. But it is important," Selig said. "And while you could say, 'This was really aberrational,' there are a lot of situations -- I've had clubs call me and say, 'What about the game I lost and why didn't you think about doing that?' And they were serious." Later, Selig said, "Of course, you open Pandora's Box (by changing a call). You may think you haven't, but you have." Selig also continued to heap heavy praise on all involved parties for their candor, demeanor and sportsmanship during the tense situation. "I don't want to be trite here, but it really turned out to be a great story. You had a pitcher who acted just beautifully. You had an umpire who did what a lot of people in life should do. He told the truth. 'I screwed up.' And I have undying admiration for him, as I told him. You had the Tiger fans that acted well. ... I'm partial, but only baseball could produce a story like that." Going forward, Selig offered no timetable on potential alterations to instant replay beyond its current use for home run and boundary calls, except to throw doubt on likely moves before the end of the season. "I have done a lot of thinking since last Thursday. But I meant what I said in the statement," Selig said. "I'm just going to take a look at everything. In the end, I'll make the decision. I'll do what's right here and take responsibility for it" (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). Selig said of the possibility of expanding instant replay this season, "I doubt it, but I wouldn't ever say never. It's worked out well. Look, I am a traditionalist, but I also want to do what I think is best for the sport" (AP, 6/7).

OBAMA CHIMES IN ON DECISION: President Barack Obama said Selig "made the right call" in not awarding Galarraga a perfect game, but added, "I think that baseball is going to have to take a look at what football and basketball already decided, which is replay may in some cases be appropriate." Obama: "I’m not advocating for it. ... I’m saying that you may have to take a look at it." He added, "What was wonderful was how a potentially sour story ended up being, for me, an inspiring story. I think the class with which the pitcher handled it, the way that Joyce owned up to making a mistake, the way the whole team went out there the next day and said, ‘You know what? We all make mistakes, but you’ve had a great career as an umpire’ -- I thought that that showed something about sportsmanship that you don’t see enough in America these days” (“Today,” NBC, 6/8).

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