Baseball Insider

MLB can't reverse the home run that wasn't

Of course Major League Baseball isn't going to reverse the missed home run call in the Athletics-Indians game Wednesday night. Nor should it.

Baseball isn't perfect. We've known this for quite some time now. And we're not going to change that with one reversed call from the home office.

There were missed calls in every game Wednesday night, and the night before that. Baseball is imprecise. That's one of the beautiful things about the game.

There have been missed calls before on reviewed plays, too. It happens, unfortunately.

The review is there to lessen the chance of a mistake happening. But they still do happen. Umpires err, just like players and writers do (there's probably a typo in this blog).

MLB can't be in the business of reviewing calls from the night before. That's what the replay review is supposed to be for. That's what umpires are for.

They make final calls. Not all of them are right, the umpires or the calls.

So the call will stand. As it should.

But please, let's dispense with the silly conspiracy theories. Crew chief Angel Hernandez (and his crew) did not miss the call on purpose.

Umpires don't enjoy being the subject of controversy, or certainly ridicule. They don't want to get it wrong.

And no, Angel Hernandez is not in the middle of every controversy. It only seems that way.

A's batter Adam Rosales' long drive that would have tied the score did clear the fence, as most folks could eventually tell. Though I'm not so sure everyone else could be sure, as A's manager Bob Melvin suggested in his postgame comments.

When Rosales hit the drive off Indians closer Chris Perez, in fact, it looked to most like the ball smacked off the top of the fence, as was originally called. Rosales stood on second base with his double, and didn't argue.

The announcers didn't know it should have been a home run, either. They, too, assumed it was off the wall.

Then Melvin rose to ask for a review. Only on replay did it appear Rosales' ball went over the fence and struck a railing just n the other side of the wall. It seemed pretty clear, but not so clear that I'd assume every single person could see it.

Unfortunately, Hernandez (and is crew) is one of the folks who wasn't so sure after looking at the same replay.

Maybe he (and his crew) wasn't looking at it right. Maybe he has a different definition of “inconclusive.''

I'm not sure. Whatever the case, he blew it (or blue it, if you like puns).

Anyway, MLB can't get into the business of arbitrating bad calls after the fact.

Unfortunately, there are just too many of them. And it doesn't matter that this bad call was looked at with the benefit of replay. It's still a bad call. Nothing more, nothing less.

It's not a rules interpretation issue like the Pine Tar game. It was just a misjudgment, like there are in every single game.

It's no surprise lots of folks on the internet are calling for a reversal or re-do. Everyone is in favor of justice.

But how does baseball decide when to do a reversal?

Is it just when there's an Internet outcry?

Is it just for ninth-inning calls, like this one? Or is it the eighth inning too? Or even earlier than that?

Is it just home runs?

Is it just calls that were reviewed and still missed?

It becomes a slippery slope that never ends.

If MLB was ever going to reverse a call it should have been the Armando Galarraga perfect game. That one robbed Galarraga of history and happened on what should have been the last play of the game.

That one was at least a special circumstance.

But MLB didn't reverse that one. So of course there's no shot it will reverse this one. Nor should it.

 
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