Thursday, June 03, 2010

It's Not Too Hard To Admit You Screwed Up

A perfect game is a rare sight in Baseball. It's probably rarer than a 10-wicket haul in an innings - There have only been 20 perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball. An MLB season comprises over 2500 games and the first perfect game was recorded in the year 1880. There have been 1958 tests and 2986 ODIs and a few more T20s. The total number of innings when you combine all these matches would be around 14,000. There have only been two ten-wicket hauls in an innings in the history of international cricket.

Why am I making this comparison? Well, it has something to do with how cricket umpires, and a lot of baseball umpires, refuse to acknowledge their mistakes and are opposed to the use of technology in order to reduce the number of mistakes. It is in this backdrop that Jim Joyce, an MLB umpire for 21 years, openly and unconditionally apologised for costing the Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. It wasn't a case of the umpire making a wrong call midway through the game - It would have been the last out and the game would have ended right there had he got it right. No Tigers pitcher has ever pitched a perfect game. The team has been around for over a hundred years and has won Four World Series alongwith 10 American League Championships. Suffice to say the team has been home to a number of great players.

It's really heartening to see Joyce realise his role in the game as that of a facilitator who enables players to go about displaying their ability for the millions who follow the sport. He has shown the way to officials who tend to think they're as important as the players and that nobody is allowed to criticise them when they make mistakes. It's high time they realised technology is only there to help them make the right decision, somewhat like an insurance cover for the times they get it wrong.

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