CLEVELAND (AP) — Athletics manager Bob Melvin still believes he witnessed a home run, and nothing will change his mind.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing he can do about it.
Melvin said Thursday he has been in contact with Major League Baseball regarding the disputed ninth-inning call in Wednesday night’s game. Umpires ruled that a ball hit by Oakland’s Adam Rosales with two outs was a double, not a game-tying homer.
The umpires did not reverse their call despite watching video. TV replays clearly showed Rosales’ ball went over the wall, and their decision shocked the A’s, the Indians, 14,000 fans in attendance at Progressive Field and anyone watching the game on TV.
Melvin brought his lineup card to home plate before Thursday’s game, his first face-to-face meeting with the umpires since the ruling. Melvin was cordial and returned to the dugout after having joked earlier he hoped he wouldn’t get ejected.
“I don’t have much to say about it,” he said. “I’m not going to talk to them about it. If they want talk about it’s one thing, but I’m just going to take the lineup card out.”
Melvin does not know if the call will be overturned, but expects baseball officials to comment.
“I’ve heard from MLB and I’m not going to say what they said,” Melvin said before the A’s and Indians wrapped up a four-game series. “It’s probably what the majority saw, but what they’re going to do from here I haven’t had any discussions about that.”
Helped by the disputed call, the Indians held on and won 4-3 as closer Chris Perez escaped a bases-loaded jam.
Randy Marsh, MLB’s director of umpires, attended Thursday’s game. Marsh would not comment specifically on the disputed play, but said he was sent to Cleveland to speak with the umpires and check the replay equipment.
Melvin, who had requested that the umpires review Rosales’ hit, was automatically ejected by second-base umpire Angel Hernandez for charging onto the field and arguing following the video review. MLB rules state that once the review is made, the call stands.
Hernandez, who asked a pool reporter not to record his interview following the game, said there was not enough clear proof to overturn the original call.
“It wasn’t evident on the TV we had it was a home run,” Hernandez said. “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.”
Melvin wasn’t entirely familiar with the review procedure, which takes place off the field and near the umpires’ dressing room. But he was confident the three umpires who left the field would see the same replays that were available to anyone watching the TV broadcasts.
Melvin said he became concerned the double would not be ruled a homer when the umpires took extra time to review the play.
“It actually worried me when it took so long because I knew all it took was one replay to see,” he said. “Even the group in the suite next to us, you could see them look at the replay one time and they all turned away and said it was a home run. When I went and looked at it in the video room, their TV announcers were saying, ‘This is a home run, let’s go.'”
Melvin’s understanding is that the umpires get several camera angles when reviewing a contested homer.
“They get all the feeds from both outlets and maybe even another one, I don’t know,” he said. “But I don’t think that MLB withholds feeds from them. Now what they’re watching it on, I don’t know. I’m not in there. It came down to somebody’s decision and that was probably against the grain from what the majority thought.”