What did umpire Angel Hernandez see and how did he see it?
The question became a hot topic Thursday amid the uproar surrounding Hernandez’s failure to make the correct call on an apparent ninth-inning, game-tying home run by the Athletics’ Adam Rosales.
Hernandez indicated to a pool reporter that the umpires might not have seen the same replays in the same broadcast quality as fans, reporters and others watching on television, computers and mobile devices.
But according to Major League Baseball, there was virtually no difference.
Hernandez, the crew chief, viewed the replays in high definition with two other umpires who helped him review the call. The feeds were the same ones that fans saw, and the umpires viewed them on 19-inch full resolution HD broadcast monitors made by Panasonic and similar to those commonly used in TV production trucks.
Baseball, in order to deliver live HD broadcast feeds over the Internet to millions of subscribers worldwide, installed direct hardwire connectivity to all 30 major league parks.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media, from its facilities in New York, uses that connection to make replays available to the umpires, in HD, from all home, away and national network feeds of replays for every regular-season and postseason game.
Hernandez, after viewing the replay of Rosales’ drive, stood by the original ruling of a double, even though replays showed that the ball struck a railing above the left-field wall.
The Athletics lost to the Indians 4-3.
“It was not evident on the TV we had that it was a home run,” Hernandez told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there’s 100 percent evidence.”
Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, issued a statement Thursday saying that Hernandez’s call was incorrect — and dismissing the umpire’s suggestion that he saw the replay in a lesser form.
“Home and away broadcast feeds are available for all uses of instant replay, and they were available to the crew last night,” Torre said. “Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made.”
Hernandez saw the same thing as everyone else. He just didn’t see it the same way.