The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on.

If you've watched any ESPN in the last 18 hours, you know about Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game. If you haven't, all you missed is that the first-base umpire called a runner safe whom he thought was safe. Sure, it was with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of a thus-far perfect game. Sure, the video replays show that the baserunner was out by a step and a half. Sure, there have only been 20 perfect games in the history of baseball.

If you've been a baseball fan for the last two decades, as I have, you know that this is not the first blown call you've seen, and not the first blown call in the history of baseball, and not the first blown call in an epic situation such as this.

In game 6 of the 1985 Kansas City vs. St. Louis World Series, Kansas City's Jorge Orta was called safe at first in the ninth inning when replays showed he was clearly out. (Sound familiar?) The Cardinals lost this game and the series.

In the 1996 ALCS, a kid reached over the wall and caught what would have been an easy out for Oriole outfielder Tony Torasco, but was instead ruled a home run for Derek Jeter. This cost the Orioles the World Series.

In the 1999 ALCS, Chuck Knoblauch failed to tag the runner out at second before throwing to first base, (a fact the replays proved over and over) though it was ruled a double play and the inning was over. The Red Sox lost the game. Afterward, the umpire admitted he had been wrong.

In the 1999 NL WC tie-breaker, Rockies baserunner Matt Holliday is called safe at first after a delayed call by the umpire and confusion by Holliday himself. Padres catcher Mike Barrett is sure he tagged Holliday out. The Rockies win the game and eliminate the Padres from the playoffs.

In all of these situations (and these are just the ones I recall off the top of my head), teams were outraged. Fans were outraged. I admit that Galarraga and his team should be outraged at Joyce's blown call. But that is not the issue here. And I think that they can tell themselves that last night, the 21st perfect game in the history of baseball was pitched all they want. But the history books will reflect otherwise. And the history books will reflect that Jim Joyce made a grave error and Galarraga's career will never be the same.

But overturn this call, and try explaining your reasoning to the 1985 Cardinals, the 1996 Orioles, the 1999 Red Sox, and the 1999 Padres. Why is this blown call different from theirs?

There are a few reasons why I think that instant replay should stay out of baseball. Firstly, baseball games currently last about 3 hours. We already have delayed games with erroneous pitching changes and 15-minute foul ball rally at-bats. Do we need to add minutes to the only professional sport without a time limit? Second, umpires already have a pretty bad rap. Instant replay lessens their authority and allows for them to be even more hated in the baseball community.

And, thirdly and hypothetically, if we added instant replay challenge to baseball, how would it be enforced? In football, you have two challenges per game, and you can't use them in the last two minutes. Only the booth can review at that point. So, in baseball, that means there'd be no challenges in, say, the ninth inning (which just so happens to be the time of the most disputed calls in baseball history). And in football, if you lose a challenge, you also lose a time out. Baseball doesn't have an equivalent of a timeout. What do we do, then? Sorry, you can't change pitchers for the rest of the game? Sorry, there are only two outs this inning? It wouldn't match up.

So what do we do? Well, many Americans have decided that the answer is to blame Comissioner Bud Selig. According to them, he has the authority to overturn this call. He chose not to, and I applaud him for it. Peer pressure ought not apply to the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. It is not Commissioner Selig's responsibility to make this right by Armando Galarraga. It is the Commissioner's responsibility to open up talks as to how instant replay can be used in baseball, and see if there isn't a way to make it useful, and keep games like last night's from happening again.

But for you to question his integrity, for you to call on him to retire, for you to call him stupid -- I question your integrity. Last week, you didn't care about the century of blown calls in Major League Baseball. You only care about this one because you watched it happen and you want to be a part of history. You are selfish, and you are rude, and you haven't taken all of the facts into account. If you claim to love baseball, you need to assess what that means to you. Your behavior over the last 18 hours appears otherwise.

Armando Galarraga -- You are a great pitcher. I am sorry for your disappointment.
Jim Joyce -- It couldn't have happened to a better umpire. The league has loved you and will continue to love you. Keep your chin up, blue.
Bud Selig -- I'm with you on this one. Keep doing your job. It's yours, after all.

It takes a village...

"We tend to not think about this because we tend to not know about it."