The Galarraga affair: a conservative’s dilemma

So MLB commish Bud Selig isn’t going to overturn that call and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game.

What do we think of this decision? Sports media opinions are varied, both from pundits and fans. Me? As a baseball fan, political conservative, and reflexive traditionalist… I’m torn right down the middle.

Conservative arguments in favor of overturning: 1) We believe in objective truth. Objectively, Galarraga pitched a perfect game. The box score should reflect the truth. 2) Contrariwise, the assertion that the truth is whatever the umps say, whatever’s “on the scoreboard,” reeks of relativism and subjectivism. 3) Justice demands that Galarraga be given what he’s due in the record books — which for a traditional, stat-obssessed sport like baseball, is no small thing.

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Arguments against overturning: 1) We believe in the letter of the law. That letter says that Galarraga pitched a complete-game one-hitter.  2) One can speak of objectivity, but in truth baseball is not a track meet, determined by tape measure and stopwatch: it’s a sport subject to the vagaries of subjective human judgment. This is what baseball players signed up for; it’s built into the fabric and history of the game. We want people to abide by such things. 3) Liberals are the ones who are always trying to re-write rules after the fact to make things “fair” for people. Conservatives want people to play the hand they’re dealt, to learn to manage consequences, not whine about them. 4) Mess with tradition and you mess with the future. Redress one grievance in an extraordinary way and soon you’ll have to redress them all.

Whew. Still torn. Help me out on this one, folks.


  • Todd M. Aglialoro

    Todd M. Aglialoro is the acquisitions editor for Catholic Answers.

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