MLB is on the case, so count on nothing changing

I mentioned in this space last night that A’s manager Bob Melvin earlier this season had been hyping the idea of addition video replay for baseball, specifically “boundary calls,’’ fair or foul down the lines.

It’s safe to say he’s backing off that in the wake of Wednesday’ video denial by the umpiring crew of a game-tying Adam Rosales home run that was clear to anyone with video access hit off the railing above the left field wall.

The umpires said the video was inconclusive, ruled Rosales had only a double and instead of a 4-4 tie, the A’s wound up with a 4-3 loss.

Asked about expanding replay Thursday morning, Melvin was preaching a different sermon.

    “Why would you want to expand replay,’’ he asked, “when there are problems making (easier) decisions?’’

The A’s have an early game Thursday in Progressive Field, but it’s clear they are not over the contretemps of Wednesday night. They’d been going bad, they’d gotten a big hit off Cleveland closer Chris Perez to tie the game and they were probably in better position than the Indians to win it, based on bullpen matchups.

All that was taken away by a video replay that was clearly flawed based on the conclusion announced by acting crew chief Angel Hernandez. The replays were all over TV and the internet last night, and even the Indians admitted the ball should have been called a homer.

Perez told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he thought it was a homer off the bat.

“For me personally, I was on the right side of it,’’ Perez said. “You feel bad for the umpires and the other side. Melvin came out livid afterward. They reviewed it and you can’t argue the review. Like I said, it’s a tough pill to swallow over there, but we’ll take it every day over there.’’

Melvin was asked if there were similarities in his mind to the George Brett pine-tar bat incident between the Royals and the Yankees that led to the umpires being overruled and the game being picked up from the point of the Brett homer.

“I don’t know,’’ he said. “That’s not my job. There are smart people (in the commissioner’s office). They get all the feeds.

“It doesn’t mean we were going to win the game. But I think we’re in better position to with our bullpens. They’d used their closer (Perez) and we had not used our closer (Grant Balfour).’’

Major League Baseball is concerned enough about what happened that Randy Marsh, the umpires’ supervisor, showed up to watch Thursday’s game. He’ll inspect the video equipment used to watch the replays to see if it’s up to code.

He said that MLB will be making a formal statement on the incident later today.

Nothing is expected to change, however. There won’t be a pine-tar turnaround.

And that’s just sad.

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.