Blown homer call by umpiring crew in Cleveland renders all other facets of game meaningless

Earlier this year, A’s manager Bob Melvin was talking about the need for more instant replay in games, including “boundary calls,’’ fair or foul down the lines, to be included in elements that could be reviewed.

You have to wonder what the point of expanding replay is is when reviews go awry as often as they seem to when all umpires are asked to review are home run calls.

The A’s lost what seemed to be a self-evident game-tying ninth-inning homer when the umpiring crew in Progressive Field watched video and somehow didn’t see what everybody in the ballpark – including the Indians – took as gospel, that Adam Rosales ball carried over the left field wall.

    Press box replays, to be sure, are frequently inferior to the views the umpires get. The crew gets feeds pumped back to them from MLB headquarters in New York, and they should include more angles and more views.

But every view in the press box seemed to indicate that the ball, which took a huge ricochet, hit the metal railing above the yellow stripe that marks homers in left field at Progressive Field.

I can understand having different views, different angles. I can’t understand how a huge bounce like that can be explained away the way Hernandez did when he told Melvin video was “inconclusive.’’

It would frankly make more sense to me that the umpires, seeing nasty weather coming in (rain started to fall in the eighth inning and was coming down steadily two hours later), decided they didn’t want to be at the park all night in a two-hour rain delay.

I don’t believe umpires did that, mind you, but I would at least understand it. This call, I do not understand.

I sort of understand the ejection of A’s manager Bob Melvin, although he should get a longer leash when things are “inconclusive.” I do not understand standing by this call.

I also don’t understand acting crew chief Angel Hernandez refusing to allow his words to be tape recorded. He has plenty of faith in video replays, but doesn’t want his words replayed. That’s weak.

There was plenty about this game that was good and interesting, but not one talked about it afterward. No one will write about it either, because the amazingly bad call by Hernandez and Co. rendered all other facets of the game meaningless.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.

  • Grey Warden

    Angel Hernandez should be fired.