By now many have seen or heard about the home run that Adam Rosales hit that got ruled a double on the field and confirmed by umpire Angel Hernandez on replay. Interestingly enough Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin brought his case to the office of Major League Baseball who took a look at the call.
Much like Hernandez who refused to have his interview recorded and then denied requests for more interviews today, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre decided to release a written statement, so he didn’t have to answer questions about the call.
He wrote “by rule, the decision to reverse a call by use of instant replay is at the sole discretion of the crew chief.In the opinion of Angel Hernandez, who was last night’s crew chief, there was not clear and convincing evidence to overturn the decision on the field. It was a judgment call, and as such, it stands as final.”
This is where it gets interesting Torre calls it a judgment call, which is an outright lie. The original call on the field is the judgment call, using replay is at the discretion of the umpires and its sole purpose is to take the human element out of the play.Meaning that there’s no judgment required the ball either went over the fence or it didn’t or it was fair or foul. The only exception is when there’s no concrete evidence to overturn the ruling on the field.
In this scenario the ball clearly hits the railing above the yellow line for a home run, there’s nothing to support Hernandez’s claim “I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there’s 100 percent evidence.”
Torre went on further saying “home and away broadcast feeds are available for all uses of instant replay, and they were available to the crew last night. Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made. Perfection is an impossible standard in any endeavor, but our goal is always to get the calls right. Earlier this morning, we began the process of speaking with the crew to thoroughly review all the circumstances surrounding last night’s decision.”
What’s funny about that statement is that he makes the statement about making sure the calls are right, yet MLB has refused to expand replay for close calls on the bases and fair or foul calls down the lines that aren’t home runs.
Again showcasing the dishonesty from Torre who at one point was one of the most respected men in baseball.
If MLB is serious about making sure calls are right it would have made a completely different statement. Such as Hernandez ruled incorrectly on the home run and due to his poor performance in the series he’ll be getting disciplined and that will get handled internally. Unfortunately Rosales isn’t going to have a home run, yet from now on all calls that do go to replay should get handled from a central office not by the umpires on the field.
Then and only then can baseball have any sort of credibility when using the tool that is in place to make sure there’s no human error. One has to wonder what Torre’s explanation would be if a similar call happened in the World Series. Guaranteed the response is much different or maybe not as he showed a monumental failure in leadership.