Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Umpires admit they blew home run call
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Crew chief Dana DeMuth said the umpiring crew made a mistake in ruling that Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit a double instead of a home run on Wednesday night.
Hamilton hit a fourth inning shot that hit the support beam that connects the left field scoreboard to the wall.
Hamilton said he wasn't sure if it was a home run after he hit it.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he was told by second base umpire Doug Eddings that the ball hit the padding in left field.
Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle said he could tell from the dugout that the ball was a home run.
But after further review, the home run, ruled a double, would have tied the game.
DeMuth has the discretion to use the replay, and didn't because Eddings was confident he got the call right. Washington doesn't have the right to ask for a replay because Eddings was sure of the call.
"I didn't see any doubt in him on that and I didn't think the replay was necessary," DeMuth said to a pool reporter after the game. "Obviously I'm wrong. It should have been a home run. To see this right now is very upsetting because this is a great tool that Major League Baseball has given me, has given crew chiefs, has given umpires. I can see that I did not use that tool."
Washington couldn't protest the game after the fact, because after talking to Eddings he left thinking they got the call right. But in the fifth inning, Washington was told it was a home run.
"The umpire told me it hit the pad," Washington said of Eddings. "He saw background with white ball and pad. So if he saw background with white ball and pad I didn’t ask for a replay."
It seemed like a moot point because the Rangers won, 4-3.
"I knew it was a 50-50 shot it was going to go out," Hamilton said. "So it was a little too much on line, if it hits off the wall its a double, if not, then they send me around the bases. It's a tough call, especially from down on the field. What is that three or four inches just over the pad and bounce back? [Orioles second baseman Ty] Wigginton told me it hit the bad, the third base coach thought it hit the bad, so it is what it is."