As I was eating dinner with a friend last night, ESPN's bottom of the screen ticker notified us that Detroit's Armando Galarraga had thrown a perfect game only to be denied his historic achievement on a blown final out call. When the video ran a few minutes later, I was stunned. This was not a close call at all by MLB standards. Umpire Jim Joyce ruled he saw something happen which did not happen. I understand missing seeing something occur, but I've never gotten how officials see something happen when it didn't. Are they just guessing? Joyce, to his credit, not only acknowledged botching the call but clearly was torn up about it (as you can hear for yourself thanks to WXYT in Detroit). The natural reaction of many people is to want baseball to negate the "hit" and give Galarraga credit for the perfect game he earned. I appreciate the sentiment, but can't agree with that line of thought. What if the blown call had been in the fourth inning - just as obviously wrong, just not with a perfect game on the line yet? Would anyone expect MLB to erase that "hit"? If not, I don't see how you can endorse the idea of erasing this one.
Day two at the SEC meetings made little news, with John Calipari's four minutes he spent with us outside the elevators the highlight of the day. For a guy known for being smooth under all circumstances - go back and watch the "I'll kill you!" John Chaney incident again if you doubt this - Calipari seemed rattled by the scrutiny he and his program are under. He wouldn't comment on the New York Times reporting about point guard Eric Bledsoe's late academic surge to gain eligibility, and Bledsoe isn't talking either. The Bledsoe story as currently reported is not enough to severely damage Calipari or the program he's running. From talking to some Alabama media at the meetings, I can tell you they firmly believe the kid received considerable help getting over the academic hump (and we're not talking tutoring here). Whether that can be proven or not is the question.
When you're trying to make it in overseas basketball, you do what you have to to keep the money coming in. Former Gator Taurean Green has legitimately switched his loyalty to Georgia as a way to enhance his opportunities. No, not Florida's SEC rival - we're talking about the actual country of Georgia. Green's now a citizen. This kind of thing gets little attention now, but if Green shows up on the Georgian olympic team that's going to be more than a little odd.