Due to a unique set of circumstances, Major League Baseball can overturn the horrible call that cost Armando Galarraga his perfect game and do so without jeopardizing the integrity of the game.
The replay evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive that umpire Jim Joyce made the wrong call. Joyce himself admits the error and has apologized to Galarraga, a humble and classy thing to do. The blown call was made on what should have been the final out, and the following batter was retired without controversy.
So why can’t Major League Baseball step in and rule that the call was in error and Galarraga rightly pitched a perfect game?
This play came, heartbreakingly, on the 27th plate appearance of the night.
This isn’t a case of an umpire making a questionable call in an early inning of what turns out to be a no-hitter. And it’s not a case where the official scorekeeper rules a bobbled grounder a hit instead of an error in an early inning.
The call didn’t affect the most important aspect of the game, the final score.
Handled as a one-time, no-precedent move, baseball could change the call and give Galarraga the perfect game he earned.