Angel Hernandez embarrassed Major League Baseball on Wednesday night, not once but twice. Umpires have to be afraid of losing their power behind the plate to instant replay. It’s a tradition to them like Wrigley Field is a tradition to Cubs fans. Baseball is a a tradition to fans, but some traditions have to end if you are to evolve. I fear baseball may continue to lose viewership as they continue to refuse to change.
Hernandez, as the umpire crew chief, chose not to change an incorrect call despite obvious evidence on instant replay. Hernandez’s mistake was magnified by the circumstances: Adam Rosales’ drive over the left-field wall, and it did indeed go over the left-field wall, would have given Oakland the tying run against Cleveland in the ninth inning. Instead the call wasn’t changed and the A’s were given a double. In the end they wound up losing.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Hernandez didn’t allow the media to record his comments ater the game. While stipulating that his answers be written in print only, Hernandez said the umpires “didn’t have enough evidence to reverse (the) call,” Slusser reported.
Hmmmm that seems strange. Isn’t that strange? I mean everyone else who viewed the replays, like you, me, that guy over there, that guy who was running the camera, my mom, saw the ball carom off a railing above the yellow line. It should have been a home run. But hey, Hernandez thought otherwise.
Most people, including myself, think Hernandez is one of the worst umpires in the sport. This is his 20th season in the major leagues.
Some fans are already calling for Hernandez to be fired. That’s probably unrealistic. But what should really happen, is that Major League Baseball officials change how they evaluate, hire and fire their umpires.
We can’t expect umpires to be perfect. We should demand that they be more accountable. Jim Joyce showed us how umpires can maintain their dignity and professionalism even when they blow a high-profile call. Two games took place yesterday with bad an questionable offciating. Why do NFL refs not have this problem, oh yea the NFL has evolved.