MLB: Umpire’s decision will stand

June 4, 2010


— Commissioner Bud Selig won’t reverse an umpire’s admitted blown call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game.

Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball will look at expanded replay and umpiring, but didn’t specifically address umpire Jim Joyce’s botched call Wednesday night.

A baseball official familiar with the decision confirmed to the Associated Press that the call was not being reversed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that element was not included in Selig’s statement.

Joyce said he erred on what would’ve been the final out in Detroit, where the Tigers beat Cleveland, 3-0. The umpire personally apologized to Galarraga and hugged him after the game, then took the field at Comerica Park on Thursday in tears.

Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski had said the team wouldn’t ask MLB to overturn the call. The mistake denied Galarraga the 21st perfect game in history and the first for the Tigers.

Joyce ruled Cleveland’s Jason Donald safe at first base, but later said he got it wrong. Even in the sports world, where bad calls are part of the mix, this one reached way beyond the lines: the perfect game that wasn’t.

Galarraga, who was barely known outside of Detroit before this week, and Joyce, whose career had flourished in relative anonymity, remained trending topics on Twitter more than 12 hours after the game ended. At least one anti-Joyce Facebook page popped up, and was launched.

From Derek Jeter to casual fans, opinions poured in.

“I was thinking if the umpire says he made a mistake on replay, I’d call it a no-hitter, perfect game. Just scratch it,” St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “If I was Mr. Selig, in the best interest of the game. The guy got it, and I’d give him his perfect game. But here again, I should just shut my mouth.”


Strasburg sharp again

Buffalo, N.Y. — Stephen Strasburg ended his minor-league audition with another strong performance in front of another near-capacity crowd. Now it’s time for the much-heralded Washington Nationals prospect — with the 100 mph fastball and $15.1 million contract — to prove himself in the major leagues.

In his last start before he’s set to make his Nationals debut at home against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Strasburg showed he’s got very little left to prove at the minor-league level. In only his 11th minor-league start, Strasburg allowed no runs, three hits and one walk through five innings in the Triple A Syracuse Chiefs’ 7-1 victory against the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday.

Canseco backs Clemens

Washington — Former slugger Jose Canseco said he told a federal grand jury Thursday that he had never seen Roger Clemens use steroids, maintaining the support he’s shown for the former ace since 2008.

Canseco described his testimony to reporters after his two hours of testimony. The grand jury has been hearing witnesses as it considers whether to indict Clemens for allegedly lying to Congress two years ago, when he denied using steroids or human growth hormone. Canseco maintained his support for the pitcher, again saying there’s no evidence that Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs.

A’s to play ’11 in Coliseum

Oakland, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics are staying put in their longtime home at the Coliseum. The A’s have exercised their option to play the 2011 season in the venue, which commissioner Bud Selig has regularly said isn’t a viable long-term option for the small-market club to stay competitive or afloat financially.


Stosur, Schiavone to meet

Paris — Go figure: The women’s French Open final will be between a clay-kissing Italian and a giant-killing Australian.

Francesca Schiavone will play Samantha Stosur on Saturday, the latest surprise in a week full of them at Roland Garros. Both are first-time Grand Slam finalists.

“We’re both out here to enjoy it,” Stosur said.

Schiavone became the first Italian woman to reach a major final Thursday when opponent Elena Dementieva unexpectedly retired because of a left calf injury after losing the first set, 7-6 (3).

Stosur then became the first Australian woman in 30 years to reach a Grand Slam final by drubbing former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, 6-1, 6-2.

The No. 7-seeded Stosur won with the same big serve and booming forehand that helped her upset four-time French Open champion Justine Henin and 12-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams this week.

The two semifinals lasted barely two hours between them, and the first match ended abruptly. After Dementieva lost the first set, she walked up to Schiavone, who was sitting in her changeover chair, and extended a hand in concession.

The Italian then fell to her knees to kiss the court in a reprise of her quarterfinal celebration.


Alabama QB transfers

Atlanta — Alabama quarterback Star Jackson has transferred to Georgia State, which started a new football program and will begin play this fall. Jackson played in five games last season for the Crimson Tide as a red-shirt freshman.


Three share Memorial lead

Dublin, Ohio — Geoff Ogilvy dropped into a three-way tie for the lead at the Memorial, giving up the outright lead by carelessly missing a par putt inside three feet.

The consolation for Ogilvy was a 7-under 65 and a share of the lead Thursday with 21-year-old Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose. They were two shots ahead of a group that included Phil Mickelson, who can go to No. 1 in the world with a victory at Muirfield Village.

Defending champion Tiger Woods finished 18 holes, even if he looked ordinary. He overcame two early bogeys with consecutive birdies around the turn and shot an even-par 72. For Woods, a four-time winner at the Memorial, it was the first time since 2004 that he failed to break par in the opening round.


Walton: Wooden hospitalized

Los Angeles — Former UCLA basketball coach and Hall of Famer John Wooden has been hospitalized in Los Angeles, according to Bill Walton. The former UCLA standout said Thursday night that the 99-year-old Wooden was at UCLA Medical Center, where Walton last visited with him two days ago.

Walton spoke at the NBA finals, where he declined to comment on Wooden’s condition.

Los Angeles television station KCAL and the Los Angeles Times first reported that Wooden was in “grave” condition.


Reed evaluation ordered

Pittsburgh — Steelers kicker Jeff Reed says the NFL ordered him to undergo an evaluation after he became involved in an alcohol-related dispute with Pittsburgh police following a home game in October.


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