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Was Angel Hernandez’s bad call because he’s philosophically opposed to replay?

May 10, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Angel Hernandez, Bob Melvin AP

From the Dan Patrick show today, a suggestion by Peter Gammons that Angel Hernandez may have refused to credit Adam Rosales of the A’s with a home run rather than a double even after instant replay showed it was clearly a homer because he doesn’t believe in instant replay.

If so … wow.  Of course, if Hernandez was willing to actually sit for an interview and answer questions about it all like all players and managers are, we’d know more about this.

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  1. larryboodry - May 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Angel Hernandez is a tool.

    • goawaydog - May 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      I have never liked this use of the word “tool” in this type of reference. Tools are useful. I had a shelf in my house that looked crooked, I verified that it was crooked with a tool. I then fixed the shelf with a few more tools, and verified with the original tool that it was now straight. Angel Hernandez would have called my shelf inconclusive even though the books were clearly tilting to one side and a useful tool verified. Angel Hernandez is not useful.

      • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        To clarify on the use of “tool” within this context, I believe that this usage refers to a specific tool, which may be called a penis, peter, johnson, schlong, wong, cock, dick, or fuckstick (and many other colorful alternatives). This tool is good for one thing and one thing only…Angel Hernandez just has to find his “one thing”, because umpiring clearly is not it.

      • vallewho - May 10, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        definitely offensive to tools

      • bigleagues - May 10, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        “Tools” are only useful when properly used.

        Angel Hernandez is being improperly used.

        He’s probably better suited to be an attorney. Ya know, arguing something that clearly did happen, didn’t and stuff like that.

      • indaburg - May 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        ‘lions, calling Angel Hernandez a penis, peter, johnson, schlong, wong, cock, dick, fuckstick and so on is insulting to penises, peters, johnsons, schlongs, wongs, cocks, dicks, and fucksticks. Pleasure can be derived from those objects. Angel Hernandez, not so much.

      • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Who knows burgie….maybe Angel has a big johnson.

      • indaburg - May 10, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        That is an image that cannot be unimagined. Bad ‘lions, bad!

    • cur68 - May 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      I think, to avoid this controversy over perfectly good tools, we should go with “Angel Hernandez is an ass-clown”. No ass-clown is useful. No way. No how.

    • bigleagues - May 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      This isn’t about philosophy, this is a mental health issue.

  2. El Bravo - May 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Wouldn’t that be insuborindation and therefore a terminable offense? I don’t buy that as the reason, sounds like Gammons is fishing.

    • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      But you buy the defense of “inclusive.”? It’s impossible, literally impossible for a mentally competent person to watch the video and say it’s inconclusive. Hernandez is a very spiteful man. I think it’s very possible, actually, very likely that he would do something like this.

      • El Bravo - May 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        In reading your comment below, while I don’t disagree, it sounds too conspiracy theory to be and a bit far-fetched. I’d like to hear Angel talk or wait for another similar “incident” before calling them all witches.

      • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        I agree, the spiteful conspiracy theory is far fetched. But, somebody saying it’s inconclusive is way more far fetched to me. Seriously, you could search and search all you want and you would never find somebody that thinks it’s inconclusive.

    • vanmorrissey - May 10, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      Agree with that. When I heard it I thought, who comes up with this stuff? So far out there it kind of twists your head around.

      • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        Then what is the explanation? It can’t be the one given, because the evidence was clear. What possible reason is there for the umpires to willfully get a call wrong? There is no possible way they didn’t know it was wrong when they made it, none.

      • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        I agree, Paper. The theory makes sense only because it’s the only theory that can make sense. It’s either Gammons’ theory or the fix was in. And I think there is zero chance the fix was in. So… Default back to Gammons.

      • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Yep, I am 100% willing to consider viable alternative hypotheses, as soon as one can be provided. The possibility of poor video or bad feeds has been eliminated. They saw what everyone else saw, and are the only 4 people in the world to conclude it wasn’t clearly a home run. So….what are the viable explanations for this event?

        They wanted to get it wrong on purpose?

      • xmatt0926x - May 10, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Why would anyone not take this as a good possibility to explain why he wouldn’t reverse the call? It’s been said by more than one baseball insider that this guy is an attention-seeking egomaniac. Instant replay is used to correct calls that were blown or missed by an umpire. Would it be shocking that someone with the mindset of Angel Hernandez would #1, be against a system that could overturn a decision he or his fellow umpires have made and #2, be so arrogant as to ignore an obvious blown call when using this system he dislikes so much? For Gods sakes, he and that other attention-whore umpire Joe West had to be put on seperate umpiring teams last season by baseball because they were causing so much trouble together. Do these men sound rational to you?

      • nothanksimdriving123 - May 10, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Reading these comments and pondering the bizarre call, I’m reminded of how, during the Watergate scandals, a tape of a crucial chat among the key conspirators (Nixon and Haldeman) turned up with the chat mysteriously erased in an 18.5 minute gap. One of Nixon’s top aides, Al Haig, suggested the culprit might be “a sinister force.” Yes, he really did say that. And it would seem to be this umpire’s best defense of his decision to call a HR a double.

      • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        A conspiracy theory is ONLY a conspiracy theory if it’s not the most viable/logical explanation.

      • nbjays - May 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        xmatt0926x, I think they should put Joe West and Angel Hernandez BACK on the same umpiring crew, if only to ensure that they can only fuck up one game at a time.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      Bravo. I spent some time last night looking up the very topic of MLB umpire termination in various different search configurations. Know what I found? Nothing clear, or relevant. The folks who’s job it is to critique in an official capacity can be fired, buit bubkiss on the umpires themselves.

      Not to say there isn’t something in place, but damned if I could find it. And usually there’s at least a blurb of something, fictional or not, floating around on the web.

      • historiophiliac - May 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        It appears that the lot of us should have spent the off-season reading up on the CBA instead of wasting time arguing cake v. pie (which is clearly pointless due to the superiority of bread pudding).

      • heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        What is in every shopping center, every mall, in many households at all time, with an uncountable amount of locations, and an entire fleet of truck?

        Ice cream, the emperor of all desserts.

        / Entire crowd bows to one knee

        ( Bread pudding is pretty awesome though, as is creme brulee )

      • djpostl - May 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Yup, I can’t ever recall an umpire being fired (or even disciplined). The only incident I can recall was when a couple dozen of the idiots tendered resignations about a month before the playoffs as part of some negotiating strategy.

        Of course, when MLB accepted the resignation the candy ass tools tried to sue to get their jobs back lol.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/04/sports/baseball-umpires-file-charges-over-their-lost-jobs.html

      • El Bravo - May 10, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        I do think the MLB needs to make their umps more accessible and accountable. Some of the conspiracies we’re talking about could only exist in a world of unaccountability and with no real access. The recipe for such things is there it seems. What is crazy is that everyone agrees that this is a simple fix but the MLB is being reluctant for whatever reason.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Or perhaps there’s language which prohibits MLB from doing anything from a discipline point of view, other than picking playoff Umps, and it’s up to the World Umpires Association to discipline themselves.

    • bigleagues - May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Wouldn’t WHAT be insubordination? Umpires have final discretion on the field, subject to MLB review.

      • El Bravo - May 10, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Insubordination under the new replay rules created by the MLB. Stop yelling, we can hear you.

  3. vanmorrissey - May 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Just hope any fine incurred on Melvin for gettin ejected is rescinded. He should not have to pay anything since he was correct, or better yet, have the fine come out of Angel’s pay check. HAH! Bet the Umps union would love that!

  4. bryceharpersmojo - May 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Interesting twist on things…it really is too bad that the MLB sweeps these mistakes under the rug and forgets about them.

    • 18thstreet - May 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Man, if only we had some sort of venue to keep these discussions going and not let MLB get away with that. Because MLB is the first corporation, ever, to want a positive public face.

  5. kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    It’s the only logical explanation. I posted this theory yesterday under the original article. The worst part, it’s working.

    Last night’s Giants’ game: Mike Krukow, “They should get rid of replay, it obviously doesn’t even work.”

    No, Krukow, it does obviously work. It was a HR, it wasn’t a “judgment call.” The replay system worked perfectly. It was reality. The Earth being round is not a “judgement call.” So, Hernandez sabatoging the call to prove that replay “doesn’t work” is going brilliantly to plan.

    • daveitsgood - May 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      It was Kruk being facetious as he is known to do from time to time.

      • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        No it wasn’t. Cause Kuiper followed up with, “I don’t want to get into this debate again.”

        It’s pretty known if you’ve been watching the Giants for years, Krukow is against replay and Kuiper is for it.

  6. seitz26 - May 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Was Hernandez a crew chief for this game? I can’t find him listed as a chief for 2013. If not, what the process that makes him responsible? I’m not defending him, he sucks. But I’m just curious how the whole thing works.

    Wouldn’t the logical next step be to see a) how many times (if any) he’s been involved in a reviewable situation, and b) how many times (if any) the call has been reversed, assuming of course that it should have been. Probably not enough evidence out there to reach a conclusion.

    Of course, the most logical solution to this is to do what the NHL does. You have all reviews done by MLB headquarters. Take the decision away from the guys who for some reason would feel embarrassed about having their call overturned.

    • rmcd13 - May 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Hernandez was the umpire who pointed to second base, making it seem like he was in charge.

    • MattJanik - May 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      Hernandez was acting crew chief for the series in Cleveland. Dana DeMuth is the crew chief of that crew, but was not present. DeMuth is from Freemont, Ohio (per Retrosheet: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/D/Pdemud901.htm). Google Maps tells me that’s along I-90 between Cleveland and Toledeo. I believe MLB has a policy that generally forbids (with exceptions) umpires from working in their hometowns (though, I can’t find a non-Wikipedia cite for that in limited searching). With Cleveland the closest MLB city to DeMuth’s hometown, I’d guess that’s why he wasn’t present. Either that, or he’s on vacation, but I don’t think that usually starts until later in the summer.

      • seitz26 - May 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Thanks. I suspected something like that.

    • gostlcards5 - May 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Seitz, I don’t say send to MLB HQ….make it simpler. Have a replay official in the booth. Done.

  7. dowhatifeellike - May 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    We’ll never know because he’ll never tell, but it’s useful to speculate because it strengthens the argument for a centralized replay team much like the NHL has.

  8. silversun60 - May 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Remember when Jim Joyce screwed Armanda Gallarraga out of a perfect game… came out basically right after the game and said “I blew it. I’m an idiot” in tears. At least all umpires aren’t a tool like Hernandez.

    • dowhatifeellike - May 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      And even though it’s not in the record books, we all know it happened because it was a big deal.

      This non-homer is going to get swept under the rug and we’ll forget about it in a few years.

      • 18thstreet - May 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        I feel like the case against Angel Hernandez and Joe West is well-known and growing.

  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - May 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I really would not be surprised. He said the replay was “inconclusive.” That should hardly ever be a term used in baseball because replays for HR’s should be conclusive, especially this one that was very conclusive. The term came from football where you have players tackling each other, where the ball can be out of view, or there’s not a good angle. None of that is the case. There’s nothing obstructing the view of the ball. He used the inconclusive loop hole to either stick it to the A’s or stick it to the replay process. And dude looks like one to be a vindictive jackass.

  10. maritime85 - May 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    This guy has got to go. Umpires, refs, officials should be an after thought if not be anywhere near a story about an outcome of a game. I should know who angel hernandez is, yet I can’t even keep track of how many controversial calls this guy has been apart of, fire him

  11. Walk - May 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Note that it was a game tying hr. It is possible he just wanted to go home a bit early and he had no other bias.

  12. thebadguyswon - May 10, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I kind of figured it was part of an agenda Hernandez has. Because no one with passable eyesight could have missed that replay. What a piece of shit this guy is.

  13. evanwins - May 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Does anyone know about Hernandez and other instant replay HR calls? I’d like to know what his record is on this.

  14. billybawl - May 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I have to say that I don’t think umps should be giving interviews as a matter of course. I say that as an A’s fan who is as critical of umps these days as just about anyone. But if the goal is that a good ump is one whose name we don’t know, then interviews don’t further that cause. I am hoping that Hernandez is forced to explain himself to his superiors, and they can take appropriate action. Not confident.

    Jim Joyce was an exception because of the emotions involved with costing a pitcher a perfect game. I don’t think he could escape a public explanation and apology.

    • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Sounds good in theory, but just a few problems. 1) His superiors won’t take any action. 2) His superiors relay the truth to us. Instead, stuff like, “It was a judgement call and people make mistakes.” Uh… No, it wasn’t a judgement call. The Jim Joyce call was a judgment. A judgement call means there is at least 2 possible sides to the occurrence. This was reality with one side and one side only, a HR.

      So I fully think we should grab our pitchforks and torches and storm the MLB offices demanding action to be taken. Actually, you guys do that and let me know how it turns out. I’m rooting for you though.

      • jm91rs - May 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        I don’t think the Jim Joyce call was a judgement call. It’s very black and white, the ball beats the runner or it doesn’t. Just as the ball goes over the HR line or it doesn’t.

        The difference is that Hernandez had the tools available to get it right, and for whatever reason he did not.

      • kardshark1 - May 10, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Without replay, it was a judgement call. We were pretty sure he was out, but it wasn’t certain until the replay. So yes, if Joyce was allowed to make the call after replay, it no longer was a judgement call. And of course, because of that, Joyce would have called him out.

  15. jm91rs - May 10, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    If I’m an ump, and every call I make is under scrutiny, I’m thankful that something like replay can help fix my occasional mistakes. You think Jim Joyce wouldn’t be thankful if there was a replay system to undo that mistake of his?

    I don’t know his motives, but there’s no conceivable way that he saw what we saw and thought it was a home run.

    Anyone know if he’s ever been on a crew that overturned a call?

  16. woolfj2012radly - May 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Unfortunately, the only way to get past the 19th century-minded “leaders” of baseball and take care of the all-too-powerful MLB Umpire’s Union is to do something rarely seen in the world today: BOYCOTT. If people would watch to see where Angel Hernandez’s next few series are that he’ll be ‘working’ (used loosely here) and then no one attends the games of those few series, MLB would figure out a way to override any and all procedures necessary to rid us of the small handful of umpires (cough…sputter…Joe West…cough) whose incompetence is only overmatched by their inflated egos.

  17. padraighansen - May 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Has the tool with the psuedo-super hero lame name….@Captain Comeback….has that tool written about how Angel Hernandez actually got the call correct (as opposed to how bad he actually butchered it), similar to how that ignorant blowhard did when the replacement refs blew the final play with Green Bay and Seattle? I’m waiting for more that moron’s brilliance.

  18. onbucky96 - May 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Conduct detrimental to the league. Bud, time to dust off the “In The Best Interest Of The Game” power you have and fire this dude. If true.

  19. greymares - May 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I’m thinking he had money on the game!!!!

  20. nothanksimdriving123 - May 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    When MLB does climb into this century and set up a comprehensive replay system, this is one of the reasons they should NOT have another member of the umpires union upstairs doing the reviewing. They should use the NHL model and have a central office review close plays: fair/foul, safe/out, catch/trap. Managers get 2-3 challenges per game. It will actually speed things up by eliminating rhubarbs.

  21. pesky99 - May 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Two worst umps in the business…..
    Angel Hernandez and Joe West.

    Cameras and video are so much more accurate than these dopes, they should just be on the field as ambassadors or something.

  22. stevem7 - May 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    I have no idea if Angel Hernandez is opposed to instant replay and furthermore I don’t really care. What I do know is that Angel Hernandez is now and has always been an extremely poor performer that MLB has needed to do something about for a long time. He is a very hard headed person who thinks HE is the ballgame and as such does MLB a huge disservice. This man needs to be dismissed as a professional umpire.

  23. uuddlrlrbastart - May 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    My immediate thought after this all happened was to wonder if this was some sort of pushback by the umps. I just as immediately dismissed it as ridiculous, if only because the reaction to the wrong call was nothing short of completely predictable.

  24. scoocha - May 10, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    For the most part I can’t stand Gammons (primarily because he’s a Boston homer) but he nailed it this time. I think I’ve said multiple times over the last week that the umps lack integrity. Does anyone believe me now?

  25. socimediapro - May 10, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    All good points being made here. What about standarding each outfield wall so stadium construction has design specifications (so freaking obvious but never done as of yet!). Each stadium has differing metrics: Oakland has a ‘leveled off wall’ in left where the scoreboard sits, The Giants have protruding car designs at some points of their outfield wall, ad nauseam.

    An incident happened to the A’s a few weeks ago when a supposed homerun hit a wall item going past the wall and redirected the ball into the field of play. Numerous replays were inconclusive but the optical illusion (trajectory of the ball, angle and speed ‘off the object the ball hit’) made it appear as if it came from beyond the wall. Ruled a double.

    I’m not asking for a redesign of Wrigley or Fenway but a standard: there is a wall, there is a notable gap from the wall to the next object be they stands, staircases, etc or a clear delineation of ‘beyond this line.’……..I don’t care have fan seats and the fans themselves as the wall. YOUR YELLOW LINE AT THE TOP ISN’T ENOUGH, BUD!!!!!

    As for the rest, none of this will change. Baseball continues to slide into the past. Selig needs to ‘go away’ – your brand of baseball is 17th century; Joe Torre too you spineless patsy! (If this happened to him, we’d hear his voice in the press/on blogs for weeks. You bitter man.)

    This is a great excuse to have no umpires period. The technology is there: a strikezone for each batter (done! Silicone Valley programmer challenge and they have it done this weekend with an invisible matrix field [but seen on monitors for fans]), how about RF or bluetooth sensors in player clothing/equipment, balls and bases. Oh there is so much these tired grey heads could do and won’t.

    Jump into this century baseball!!! Drop a few of those dimes from those billion dollar media contracts and take these faceless, voiceless, untouchable, mistake prone putz ‘umpires’ to the ‘home’ where they can sit around, drool and argue over who will rewind TIVO and whether Vanna showed some nip turning the letter Q!

    Make me your F%^&(*@ commissioner and I’ll see to it this game can compete with the NFL!!!!!

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