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Blown Call Commentary

May 9, 2013

The smartest thing said about last night’s blown call seems to come from Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports’ HardballTalk. I like Calcaterra who always is insightful and fortunately does it while being funny too. But here is what he said regarding the Adam Rosales home run/double,

“This is pretty simple: If [umpire Angel] Hernandez had the same view of the play that the Comcast Bay Area viewers had and still couldn’t reverse the call, he is incompetent. If he did not have that view available to him when reviewing the play, Major League Baseball’s home run review system is incompetent. Which is it?”

Jorge Ortiz of USA Today correctly pointed out this sentiment likely felt by the A’s today,

“They’re also probably wondering what good is video replay if it can’t correctly settle calls like this.”

David Schoenfield of ESPN said this,

“What’s the point of having a replay system if you’re still going to blow the call? Did the four umpires all watch the same replays and all agree? Hard to believe. Even Indians fans were tweeting that it was a home run.”

As always Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle may not have had much in opinion to say about the call but came through with the most information about what happened. She wrote,

“Every replay in the press box clearly showed the ball hitting a railing well over the top of the wall in left, and [Bob] Melvin said this morning that it is his understanding that the umpires get all available views from both the A’s and Indians broadcast outlets. A video coordinator with access to all feeds to me he hadn’t seen a single replay where it wasn’t obvious that the ball went out… Getting the call right, Melvin said this morning, ‘Doesn’t mean we were going to win the game, but at that time in the game, we were in a better position with our bullpen. You never know how it will go, but it looked like it should be going on.’”

All said and done the call was blown. With today’s game underway it seems nothing will be done but as Slusser noted in that above mentioned piece, she expects MLB will talk publically about this at some point. I am not one to criticize umpires. In real time watching that home run/double it conceivably could have been a double. But that is why we have these replays for home runs and in slow mo it was beyond obvious it his the railing above the wall, even the reactions of the fans above knowing the Indians had blown the lead and they’d missed catching a home run ball was evidence of such. I don’t want to see replay like in the NFL where we all stand around and wait for ten minutes to review things. Last night’s review took far too long. But it seems that you could add a fifth umpire who sits upstairs in the booth and watches everything and acts as a sort of check on this whole system on the field. The A’s won their division last year by a game on the final day of the season, calls like this matter.

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