It is an obvious decision for Major League Baseball: reverse umpire Jim Joyce’s blown 9th inning call during pitcher Armando Galarraga’s otherwise perfect game yesterday in Detroit. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will no doubt take time to look at the actions of previous Commissioners, he will talk to his advisors, and then he will carefully gauge the temper of the fan public and the sports media before making his decision.
But Commissioner Selig doesn’t have to take any of those tip-toeing, public relations rear end covering steps. Because St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa has publicly stated umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call in the June 2nd game should be overturned. And La Russa’s statement is the ultimate green light for Major League Baseball to immediately correct a terrible mistake.
More than Selig, more than any superstar player, more than any manager or owner, and certainly more than any sports commentator or writer, Tony La Russa is the keeper of the inner soul of American baseball. La Russa is tough, opinionated, brilliant, and an expert about everything baseball is and isn’t; about what baseball should be and should not be. He is an old school curmudgeon and a cutting edge innovator, and no one knows more about the historically vetted unwritten rules of the game.
Tony La Russa is the conscience of Major League Baseball, and Mr. La Russa has said that baseball should do the right thing. End of story.