In Wednesday’s MLB box scores, the double off the bat of Adam Rosales in the ninth inning was simply a hard-hit ball in the gap.
However, it was a complete gaff by Angel Hernandez and his accompanying umpires. Hernandez is at fault for not watching the replay closer and costing the Oakland Athletics a game, but this incident should serve notice to any team that is looking to build a new stadium.
The reason that Rosales’s smash was called a double to begin with was because of a pointless guardrail in the left field bleachers at Progressive Field. I fail to understand why the architects for the Cleveland Indians felt it was so necessary to have an obstacle like that so close to the home run line. The yellow bar that is placed atop all of the walls in all MLB parks is helpful, but it obviously isn’t useful enough as umpires continue to miss calls.
Commissioner Bud Selig is responsible for the instant replay policy and although they will continue to get better, why not just eliminate rails and obstacles like the ones in Progressive Field? Selig has been at the forefront for a few controversial issues, and this decision will be equally scrutinized.
There should be a good distance between the outfield wall and any permanent fixture that could possibly be a hindrance to the umpire’s discretion on a home run ball. Also, ballparks that have recurring issues regarding this matter should be forced to remove anything that makes it hard for umpires to decide if the ball indeed went over the fence.