Selig and Pandora….Interesting Pair 

We all know the tale of Pandora’s box( jar) from Greek mythology. It is base on the actions of Pandora opening the jar she carried with her and unleashing many things upon mankind like toil, ills and sickness. But within all that negative elements was one good and humane element hidden deep within that sacred jar, and it was the element of hope. And that is the key element of the Pandora’s box (jar) that I trust will transfer effortless following the investigation by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig into the umpiring events of the recent Detroit Tigers versus Cleveland Indians match-up.

Hope that the right thing will be done in this seesawing endeavor, even if it does come with penalties of changing the essence and protocol of the game even in reference to the men who governs its rules. Even if Selig is viewed as toying with the fabric of the established and historical baseball traditions, that his true intention of providing some sort of uncontested justice might just start an avalanche effect into the sturdy mountain of transcendental thoughts surrounding the game.

That Selig even mentioning that he is going to “look into the matter” could send ripples into the historic pond of baseball history and call for other future considerations or radical interventions from the Commissioner regarding his enforcement arm of the game. I agree that the game in question did end on a play that will further tarnish and flaw the role of the MLB Umpires within the scope of a baseball contest. And with all sincerity, how can this unrighteous action not be held up high and mighty for all to see to display the inherent wrongs that can happen with the human element prevalent in the outcome of the game.

We saw today a unusual and unique gesture/signal by MLB First Base Umpire Jim Joyce admitting his wrong, and knowing he might have fully changed a important slice of baseball’s history with his outstretched arm and his “safe” call last night. But human error is part of the unfolding essence of the game. It is expected and it is admonished at the same time. Just like death and taxes, it is a given in the game that errors are human, even by the protectors of the rules. Every job has its flaws and imperfections, and recently baseball mistakes have been earmarked and played continuously for the World to judge for themselves .

Hope that Selig’s involvement into the sensibilities of this “tragedy” will not further open his own Pandora’s box and bring numerous rule enforcement issues back to the surface to produce his own toil, sickness and ills towards his reign as MLB Commissioner. Sometimes trying to fix a bad situation from reoccurring can fester itself into a multitude of eventual dogmatic controversies than could again gain legs and begin crawling from out of the darkness for all to view and gasp. But what final conclusion would be correct?

Even the thought of bringing this controversial game’s unfortunate outcome into plain sight again and dissecting the Umpire crew’s actions could open old MLB officiating wounds and further push the envelope of conspiracy and inconsistent judgments of the “Men in Blue” into the open for a feverish discussion. Even if the MLB Umpires Union has an opinion in this matter, the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the umpiring crews. His mire eye glance towards this game’s misguided “safe” gesture could have repercussions beyond this single Umpiring crew.

Paul Sancya/AP 

Hope that if Selig does come to the ultimate conclusion of wrong doing in the call by Joyce, that he also has the willpower and the omnipotent fortitude to make an executive decision as to the final outcome. In all fairness to Galarraga and the Tigers, the final outcome of the game can not be changed. Even with the outcry from Detroit and National voices for justice and a reversal, it has to stay cemented and the judgment remain consistent and not be challenged or changed for the overall integrity of the game.

But in rehashing and revisiting of the night’s actions, Selig could produce and set into motion viable changes and radical rethinking of some of the evident problems currently surrounding his enforcement arm of the rules of the game. But then it could be something as simple as expansion of the Instant Replay system to possibly include review of questionable base calls when the Umpire assigned to that position can not fully vest himself in his decision, and a secondary opinion can not prove to be formulated with 100 percent certainty. Replaying the play could provide an honest interpretation of the game, but will open the flaws of being human tri-fold. 

Hope that the investigation my Selig will turn out to be a Godsend to the governing body of the game and that the Special Rules Committee and the Umpires Union do not see it as pressing his thumb down for change, but be welcomed to bring about a successful conclusion for all involved in the process. This same element will be debated and weighed continuously until the Commissioner deems his will upon the game in this matter. Let’s hope Selig gets it right the first time.


I have seen many bad calls this season. They have been game changing calls too. Even with instant replay, the calls have been re examined and still vindicated. That is what I don’t understand. For example during one Dodger game, a fan reached over the wall and caught a ball interfering with the play and it was called a homerun. It would have been a double. Every angle showed that the fan reached over the wall. The ushers were ready to escort him out. The fan was packing up his stuff. He was surprised that he was allowed to stay and the homerun stood. Bad call. Not the first nor will it be the last.

That is one of the things that Instant Replay can be sued, to validate the fans’ interaction with the ball, or the potential Home Run.
But it is also up to the Umpire Crew Chief to call the Instant Replay into consideration. If he doesn’t, then the play will stand as called on the field.
That is its own Pandora’s Box…….
Do we formulate a system like the NFL where a Red Flag or a set number of challenges can be made during a game with penalties like an instant “out” if the challenge goes against you.
Or even add a fifth Umpire to each crew who is in the video booth and has access to the video feeds and could relay the information through a earpiece to the Umpire Crew Chief and it still keeps the umpires integrity in the game…

Decisions, decisions.

Rays Renegade

I like the ‘NFL style Red Flag’ with penalties if your wrong and only 1 or 2 a game, with set things that can be challenged… I agree strongly on the don’t over turn the call, this would be a non-issue if the Tigers had lost 10-0 or won 10-0 but there had been hits on both sides, yet the call would have been just as bad. Good post Cliff when most everyone is calling for the challenge to be changed, and why aren’t you one of the blogs on the MLBLogs opener referencing that game??

Phillies Outside

My reasoning is not to ask why, but do are die….. (lol).
Seriously, I might have posted after Mark and his crew was deciding on the 21-flavors to add to that tasty morsel of a blog issue.
But I am not worried at all. Still in the Top 10, and loving Rays baseball, so all is good in the chocolate chip world.
I also agree the verdict/decision/outcome can not change…..It would incite replays and changes to past events that have been solidly forgotten….unless we regress to bringing up the past.
Humans learn from their mistakes ( most of the time), so it might be better just to live and let live in this situation and hope it never rears its ugly head again.

Rays Renegade

Galarraga pitched a perfect game in everyone’s mind, so even though it won’t be in the record book as such, history will remember his accomplishment. What MLB needs to look at is the way umpires rule when there’s a dispute. At the very least, the umps should have huddled together and discussed the call after it was protested by the Tigers. It was much too important a game and a call to just make a hand gesture indicating “safe” and leave it at that.

I agree with that argument 100 percent.
A huddle or a different perspective might have saved over a billion bytes of arguments ans rants and raves today about the system as we know it.
Worse case…..Things stay the same and status quo is restored.
Best case……..Bud and his crew decide to tweak the system on some way and we get a better enforced product on the field.
It is not like the players will strike over it, but some accountability along with some consistency has to be achieved…Now!

Rays Renegade

I am right with you there with the fifth Umpire in the booth with a two-way communication device to alert the field crew if there is a…..controversy and nip it in the bud at that moment.
By changing even an ounce of that past Perfecto/No-Hitter/1-Hitter would destroy valuable credibility of both the MLB brass, plus cast a shadow of uncertainty over the present Umpire system.
With the Major League Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement set to be discussed in 2011, maybe it is prudent to make so stopgap changes on the fly and then within the negotiations expand the role or promore the role of either a fifth Umpire or Instant Replay being tweaked to include some modifications….just a thought.

Rays Renegade

I’m drinking your Kool-Aid. Selig should not change anything about the game. What’s done is done and I like it that way. If, like you say he wants to be proactive and look into a system…by all means OK. But the results of that game are written in the books not to be changed. Why can’t they just have a fifth official up in the box, wired in with the crew chief and they can get everything right on the fly without stoppages, challenges or any other needless minutia? Just a thought.

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