Perfect game, imperfect call

How can such a pristine pitching performance leave me so sick to my stomach?

That’s how I feel, hours after an umpire’s wrong bad horrible call of epic proportions cost Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.

The call came with two outs in the top of the ninth inning and the Tigers up 3-0. Cleveland’s Jason Donald hit a ground ball that was fielded by Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera going to his right. Cabrera tossed the ball to Galarraga covering at first base, and the baserunner was clearly out by a half-step if not a full stride.

Yet the umpire, on somewhat of a bang-bang play, called Donald safe with an infield single.

Honestly, how does that happen?

I agree with ESPN commentator and Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who said Wednesday after that game that when dealing with such a historic moment, any tie needs to go to the pitcher.

But this wasn’t even a tie. The runner was clearly out, and anyone who watched it live could see that. Well, everyone except umpire Jim Joyce.

I was at a local eating/drinking establishment when it happened, and the chorus of "Oooohhhs" drowned out the voices of anyone watching the Stanley Cup Finals, which is what I intended to watch Wednesday.

Galarraga, who has bounced back in forth between the majors and minors, will never be in a position like this again.

So can the call be reversed? Seems like a lot of fans are pushing for that. And I’m with them. I realize that sets a bad precedent, and I have no idea what the rules are on such things. I saw someone write that if they reverse this one, they have to reverse Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. I guess that’s true, but I just feel like the circumstances are different.

Remember the Pine Tar Game? That ruling was overruled. Why not again?

I just feel awful for Galarraga. That should have been his finest hour. And it was ruined by an inexcusable missed call.

Twins GM Bill Smith on Sports Talk today

I am on "Sports Talk" from 1-2 p.m. today (usually doesn’t start until about 1:10 though) on 970-AM WDAY radio.

Joining Kerry Collins and I will be Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith. We’ll talk to him about all things Twins – Joe Mauer, Target Field, payroll, trade deadline, closer situation, etc.

I’m not sure yet what else we will talk about on the show just yet. Check back for updates.

We’ll also discuss Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella‘s decision to bench his big-name players yesterday in a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Has the "Curse of the Billy Goat" gotten to Piniella, too? And we’ll look at the standings and decide, after two months, what teams are for real and what teams are not. Look out, San Diego Padres!

Last segment, we’ll discuss tonight’s Stanley Cup Finals matchup. Is the series already over? One of us thinks so.

If you want to take part in the show, give us a call at 293-9000 or (800) 279-9329 or e-mail

Feel free to leave any comments in the Comments section too, questions for Smith or whatever. I’ll ask him as much as I can in the time we have with him.