Daily Archives: June 6, 2010

The imperfect baseball game should be the last of its kind. And the great sport of ferret-legging

One thing I try to do on this blog is something that’s not really common to bloggers.

And that’s wait. Not react instantly to every news development or story. I like to take my time on some things, read other points of view, and then weigh in.

I know, I know, it makes me a terrible blogger. But what can I tell you, I need time to process.

Anyway, during my hospital stay and afterwards I read a lot about Armando Galarraga’s nearly-perfect game last week for the Detroit Tigers, when umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called the last batter of the game safe at first, when he was clearly out. This, of course, ruined Galarraga’s perfect game.

Lots of people thought Bud Selig should’ve overturned the umpire’s ruling and awarded Galarraga a perfect game. That’s ridiculous. Should the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals get the egregious call that went against them overturned? You can’t un-ring a bell, and if Clueless Bud had “given” Galarraga the perfect game, it would’ve been an outrage.

Then there are the people who said “Well, bad calls are a part of baseball, that’s just the way it is.” That, too is ridiculous. Why should incorrect judgments be allowed to stand when the technology exists to get them right?

Which leads me to my point: Finally, finally, finally, we may be getting real instant replay in baseball, and for this we should all thank Jim Joyce profusely. In every other sport now, from tennis to hockey to football, since the technology is there to make sure calls are correct, replay is used.

I don’t get the people who are against this. Does it slow down the game a little? Sure. But isn’t the most important thing to make sure a team doesn’t get cheated by a bad call? Don’t you think if this mechanism was around in the 1950s, they would’ve used it then in sports, too?

I just don’t get these people who are against progress, and against accuracy. And that’s what you are if you’re against replay: You don’t care about getting it right, you just want to preserve things as they used to be.

Well you know what? There used to be only white people in baseball. Was that a good thing?

Instant replay needs to come to baseball now. Nobody else needs to go through what Armando Galarraga did, though he showed tremendous class with how he handled it.

The cameras are there.

Use ’em.

**I know this sounds completely made up, but it’s true. As usually is the case with these stories, it comes from England, and I heard about it on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on NPR.

A couple of weeks ago in Whittington, Staffordshire, England, a retired headmaster named Frank Bartlett decided that, for charity, it’d be a great idea to revive a great old sport. It’s called ferret-legging.

The object is to drop a ferret down a man’s pant leg, and see how long he can last without releasing the ferret from his trousers.

Seriously. They must be really bored, or really drunk, to have come up with a sport like this. My favorite part of this story was when the animal welfare guy protested by saying “this will set back ferret welfare by over 20 years.”

Really? Have ferrets really advanced that far in the last 20 years? Do they have better workman’s comp programs, and are the cages they’re in lined with softer material these days?

I’m just wondering, do they have a union that’s finally run a p.r. campaign praising their virtues or something?

Ferret welfare. Jeez.