msnbc | June 02, 2010
>> safe! he is safe! he is safe at first base.
>> still painful when you see it. after the game umpire jim joist had the guts to admit his mistake during this radio interview.
>> this isn't a call. this isn't -- this is a history call. and i kicked [ bleep ] out of it. and there's nobody that feels worse than i do. i take pride in this job and i kicked the [ bleep ] out of that and i took a perfect game away from that kid over that worked his [ bleep ] off all night.
>> today major league baseball sources tell msnbc's keith olbermann that they've reviewed it, they reviewed it, and now they say nothing we can do about it. really keith ?
>> nothing to see here. move on.
>> come on. what about the best interests of baseball?
>> the commissioner bud selig has issued a statement in the last 20 minutes or so that basically says they will look into using videotape replay more extensively in the future after talking with this union and that union and this committee and that committee but there is no mention made other than to congratulate umpire jim joyce on his honesty and pitcher galarraga on his courtesy and gentlemanliness toward the umpire meaning he didn't hit him and was very nice and said you probably feel worse than i do.
>> he was really classy about this.
>> he was. they have rewarded this graciousness and sportsmanship by saying, screw you, guys. you are going to forever be the umpire known as the one who blew this call and you, sir, will be the man who did not get the perfect game the third of the season and only the 21st in baseball history .
>> there are so many things about this. again you have the pitcher galarraga who couldn't have been classier about the whole thing.
>> when you saw him he smiled about it. he said he felt bad. you've got an umpire who's not a bad umpire.
>> by no means.
>> and he says i blew it. it's horrible. it's wrong. anybody can look at that tape and see it was horrible and it's wrong. why -- it's the same question i just asked you. why can't this be fixed?
>> the argument ironically is this is protecting the human element in baseball. if you went to the option to suddenly reverse any call in a game you might reverse every call --
>> this isn't any game.
>> i'm just setting up the following part of this which is the human element would also seem to include the idea if you made mistake and it's correctible you should correct the mistake. we're afforded that opportunity. the commissioner very clearly could have found some pretext to do this. many game outcomes have been overturned. championships have been affected by decisions made after a game, long after a game has ended by looking at videotapes nor the old days reading affidavits. the last time the chicago cubs won the world series it was because a bunch of affidavits were reviewed by the national league presidents in 1908 . that's the only reason they got in because it upheld a decision, another controversial out call by an umpire. the last part of this is the batter for the indians jason donald the rookie short stop has now said having looked at the videotape, yeah, i was out. so we are unanimous here. every fan in the ballpark knew that. every tiger knew that. now the umpire says so immediately after the game and now the batter says he was out. on the other hand baseball is sticking to its rules that say, well, there's nothing we can do about it once the game is over and thus it is in fact hurting the integrity of its own game and the honesty of its own outcomes by not being willing to recognize the obvious which is he was out.
>> and galarraga should have had a perfect game . stay right here. i have milt pappas on the phone. he is the former major league pitch wer the chicago cubs who lost a perfect game , 1972 , two outs in the ninth and the umpire brew from 'emming called ball four on larry staal. i have to ask you, when you saw this, what goes through your mind?
>> i feel bad for this idiotic decision that just came down from mr. no guts bud selig . i mean, my god. you know, in my situation i was kind of hoping he'd overrule it because then i'd plead my case to him. maybe i can get the perfect game . but at least i got the no hitter. this poor kid just ended up with a shutout. i think it's criminal what happened to him.
>> it -- do you think this is a case to be made now for instant replay ? especially in a case like this?
>> the only thing i would say as far as balls and strikes, you got the integrity of the game which are umpires and balls and strikes are, you know, synonymous with umpires and baseball. but when it comes down to history making situations such as a perfect game , and coming down to the last batter, of a perfect game , i definitely think that they should have the situation where, like it happened last night, god forbid if something happens down the future again, at least they got the instant replay . that's the only thing i would say as far as ball and strikes are concerned that the instant replay be used is on a perfect game and i think it's unbelievable that this has happened and that -- and again, i understand the baseball ruling that once the batter takes the box after the ruling, you know, then the previous play is wiped out. you cannot go back and change it. or that the four umpires would have gotten together at that time before the next batter came up, that could have been overturned, too, but at the same time it's a bang-bang play. the umpire made his decision. and he didn't realize it was a mistake and a bad call until after the game. but i still think the commissioner should have had the guts to reverse it.
>> and, milt, it's keith olbermann . if you were in a situation that you said, you could make this really specific. wouldn't the best route here be to allow the umpires under special circumstances , you could define that any way you want, perfect games , no hitters, ninth innings, whatever you want to call it, however you want to specialize it, if you just said under special circumstances the umpires can if they want to look at a replay during the game that isn't involving, you know, a home run call so that at least jim joyce would have had when everybody surrounded him and said, are you kidding? he would have had the option to go look at a replay?
>> yeah. i think that's a great point, keith . and here again with bruce freming in my game, he said years later, i didn't know milt was pitching a perfect game . what an idiot. how can you not know that nobody has touched first base and you're behind the plate calling the game and you don't even know i'm pitching a perfect game ? and i look at the don larson perfect game in the world series to dale mitchell . that ball wasn't even close to being a strike but the umpire knew what was happening. a perfect game . and he called it a strike and there was no argument by anybody. in my game the score was 8-0 in favor of the cubs. i mean it's stupid.
>> we're not talking about the deciding game of the world series but something personal and special and historic.
>> yes. milt, thanks so much. it was great of you to come on. you know, you got to feel for jim joyce , too. this guy has got a great record.
>> this is always going to be the top of his biography now.
>> this is exactly my point. you heard him afterwards. he sounded, and i don't mean to be crass about this, but he sounded like there was a possibility he might do himself harm he was so upset. you can't blame it on the media covering him because what you heard there was not a radio interview where some tiger fan was saying, you blew that call. that was him looking at the replay and then coming out of the umpire's room and speaking to a group of newspaper reporters and one radio guy who had a microphone.
>> and he said, you know, he cares about this game. he cares about doing a good job with the game. it's just a loose situation.
>> get the call right. by any means necessary. then correct the rules so this doesn't happen again.
>> do you think it was pressure? do you think he just knew this was such an important call and he had a momentary --
>> it could have been but a call like that could occur at any time in any game as milt pappas just pointed out. if you could have an umpire working the plate in a perfect game and doesn't know it sometimes an umpire's attention like a ball player 's or a newscasters might wander for some reason. it happens.
>> will we hear a minute or two on "countdown" about this?
>> only about 15. the governor of michigan is scheduled to be one of our guests because she has awarded armando galarraga a perfect game within the state of michigan .
>> good for her. thanks, keith .