Major League Baseball umpires have been no strangers to making bad calls over the year, something that has felt especially true for the 2021 season. The worst call we’ve seen came on Tuesday night, when Angel Hernandez straight up guessed whether or not a ball got caught and chaos ensued in the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals.
Andrew Benintendi was tagged out but Angel Hernandez overturned the call without a review and no one knows why pic.twitter.com/ZfZYKkY8eR
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 5, 2021
A lot goes on in this sequence, which the announcers accurately call “an absolute disaster,” but basically, Salvador Perez hit a ball to right center field that was not caught. Andrew Benintendi got caught up between second and third, unaware of whether or not Perez got called out, and he ended up getting tagged out on the bases. However, he was given third because…
“I got basically blinded by the outfield scoreboard. … I was trying to make out what happened out there. The harder I looked, the less I could see,” first base umpire Angel Hernandez said. “So I was trying to read the players to see what they did with the ball. And I had to come out with the call. I basically guessed on the wrong call. So as soon as I turned around, (home plate umpire) Edwin (Moscoso) started walking towards me. We got the crew together. And we fixed the problem.”
An umpire guessing and getting a call very wrong is, to put it mildly, shocking, and after the game, Indians manager Terry Francona went nuclear on the much-maligned umpire.
“I just kind of told Angel ‘Why’s it always happening when you’re here?’” Francona said, per Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star. “It’s aggravating, but I don’t think there was anything we could do. Believe me, I was thinking about it, I didn’t know.
“What are they going to review? We knew it wasn’t a catch,” Francona went on to say. “Everybody I think knew it but Angel.”
Fortunately for Cleveland, it went on to win the game, 7-3, so this is more mild inconvenience than total outrage. Still, this is one of those ones that should probably lead to the league office doing something about an umpire admitting they guessed and got a call completely wrong.