With 26 Batters Down and #27 Running Into a Close Play At First, Should Umpires Let ‘Em Play?

July 18th, 2011

I previously blogged about Mitch Berman’s work on sports jurisprudence. Mitch is liveblogging at Volokh this week, so I thought I would repost some of my initial questions on this topic in the context of Armando Galaraga’s almost-perfect game.

As you may recall Detroit Pitcher Armando Galarraga was throwing a perfect game through 26 batters. 26 up, 26 down. Batter number 27 hit a ball to second base, Gallaraga covered first. It looked like the throw to first was in time but the umpire, Jim Joyce, called the runner safe. Joyce totally blew the call. At the time I wondered whether the fact that this was the 27th batter should have made a difference, and whether the Umpire should have “let ‘em play” and called it an out.