The concept of instant replay in Major League Baseball was designed to prevent umpires from making erroneous calls — and, crucially, game-changing calls.
In the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game, Oakland infielder Adam Rosales smashed a deep drive off the railing above the left-center wall against Indians closer Chris Perez. It was initially ruled a double, but was reviewed (as is the custom).
Remarkably, the umpire crew, headed by Angel Hernandez, botched the call. Copious instant replays clearly showed that the ball had careened back onto the field after hitting the railing above the yellow line, which would have made it a home run.
A’s manager Bob Melvin exploded out of the dugout after the call and was promptly ejected by Hernandez, who also drew the ire of the A’s on Tuesday with a sketchy strike zone. The A’s failed to score Rosales from second after the missed call, eventually losing the game — but it wouldn’t have ended that way if the umpires hadn’t completely missed the call in the first place.
From a fan’s perspective, what exactly is the point of instilling instant replay in baseball if the umpires still make the wrong call?
A’s beat writers such as Susan Slusser noted that everyone in the press box — team writers, Indian writers, impartial scouts — all agreed that this was a horrendous missed call. This wasn’t just the opinion of the A’s bench, this was the prevalent mindset of everyone that saw the play … except for the umpires, of course.
It’s unfortunate (and, honestly, inexcusable) for a game’s outcome to be so directly affected by a blown call, but hopefully it motivates the A’s to go out there tomorrow and win and avoid being swept in the four-game series.