There’s arrogance. There’s blind arrogance. And, there is Angel Hernandez arrogance, which by the way, incorporates a little bit of the blind.
Another night, another blown call, but Hernandez’s last night in Cleveland was compounded by his bullish behavior afterward, which should be met with swift and forceful action by Commissioner Bud Selig.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Oakland’s Adam Rosales apparently hit a game-tying home run, only to have Hernandez rule it a double.
No problem, there’s the home run review process, which will surely right this wrong, give Rosales his homer that would tie the game at 4-4, and play on from there.
Only it didn’t happen that way. Hernandez came out and held fast with his call – the wrong call.
“Probably the only four people in the ballpark,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about the umpire’s non-reversal.
Replays clearly showed the ball struck a metal railing over the padded outfield wall. More to the point, after striking the railing, the ball ricocheted as you know it would when it strikes metal. Umpire supervisor Jim McKean told ESPN.
Had it hit the pad, it would have fallen straight down, as Melvin suggested.
“Our whole team thought it was the wrong call,’’ Rosales said. “The replays showed it hit the railing. With six eyes on it (three umpires watch the video and a fourth stays on the field), you would have thought they’d make the right call.’’
“Everybody else said it was a home run, including their announcers when I came in here later,’’ Melvin said. “I don’t get it. I don’t know what the explanation would be when everybody else in the ballpark knew it was a home run. Clearly, it hit the railing. I’m at a loss. I’m at a complete loss.’’
Well, perhaps we’d get an in-depth explanation from Hernandez by the pool reporter. Only trouble, with arrogance above-and-beyond even most umpires, Hernandez, noted for his shoot-from-the-hip temper, refused to let the reporter record the interview.
Hernandez, using the umpire’s stock get-out-of-jail-free card, said: “It wasn’t evident on the TV we had it was a home run. I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence and there wasn’t 100 percent evidence.’’
Hernandez clearly didn’t want the interview recorded because he could come back and claim he was misquoted. The quote the reporter acquired the old fashioned way was damning enough.
The umpires use the same camera angle used in the broadcasts and have additional cameras. To suggest the reporters had different camera angles is absurd, not to mention a fabrication.
Hernandez was trying to cover up his own ineptitude with an outlandish story. Clearly, he blew the call, threw dirt on the system used to correct mistakes, and compounded his failure by refusing the interview to be recorded and his arrogant answer.
The ball now is in Selig’s court, and with his powers “to act in the best interest of baseball,’’ his reaction should be swift.
The call should be reversed – to hell with it being in the umpire’s judgment – with the game resumed after the home run. Any fines for Melvin and Rosales should be rescinded.
As for Hernandez, he must be fined and suspended for his actions. Selig needs to come down hard on Hernandez. Really hard. And, in the future, any attempt by an umpire to bully reporters by preventing interviews to be recorded should be met with similar punishment.