Ken Griffey Jr., the man who made baseball (and wearing your hat backwards) cool for a generation of young boys has retired, right before we played the Seattle Mariners. We might be tempted to claim that Griffey acknowledges that he is no longer as cool as Joe Mauer and is now passing the torch of awesomery to Captain Sideburns, but the truth is that Ken Griffey Jr.
competes with no man in terms of coolness. He is to our generation what Willie Mays was to our parents, a reminder of our chance to experience eternal summer, joy and passion. He's a great ball player and will be missed--though I can't help but wonder if his career would have been longer if he'd just laid off the nerve tonic.
While the Kid retired, the Twins got hosed out of a win, and as much as I might like to foam at the mouth about that it beats getting hosed out of a perfect game as Armando Galarraga did in Detroit. We normally don't mind it when the Tigers are inconvenienced, but when you play well enough to get a perfect game it's a shame when human error ruins that.
To be sure, it's hard to be an umpire. I did it for little league baseball for one summer at age 13 and have not endured as much profanity since. I'm willing to give umps the benefit of the doubt, to indulge them and forgive their mistakes because hey, it's all part of the game.
Would the game be better if we could eliminate every umpire mistake? Maybe. Sure it would be nice to know that justice was always done (like in Judge Dredd), it would also be boring (like Judge Dredd).
So we urge Major League Baseball to adopt the official Peanuts from Heaven proposal of turning all umpires into super intelligent logic based cyborgs. If possible, give them laser vision. We understand that there's an inherent risk that the cyborgs will eventually run amok and take over all the world...but then we'll just unleash the power of Care Bear Attacks.