Not only did Angel Hernandez botch the call on that home run/double last night, but he’s not been particularly forthcoming about it after the fact. Check this out from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser:
Angel Hernandez said no recorded interview, only write down answers but says they didn’t have enough evidence to reverse call. #Athletics
As Slusser notes in subsequent tweets, this is baffling, inasmuch as reporters recording interviews is actually a benefit to the interview subject. If the reporter screws up, he or she is accountable and there is a clear record of what was actually said. I know Angel Hernandez is not big on accountability and getting things right via technology, but this is just strange.
Well, maybe not too strange. There is at least some reason why someone may not want their interview recorded:
@stareagle @jonmorosi The only possible reason to deny recording is in order to have deniability. Which is troubling to me.
Creating situations in which there is deniability is something an insecure person does. And if you’ve watched Angel Hernandez’s behavior when he gets in arguments with managers and players, you can tell he reeks of insecurity. Umpires who stand by their calls don’t get mad and touchy like he does. Umpires who know they screwed up don’t either. They either admit it or at least let the manager say what he wants so as not to compound the issue. Hernandez does neither of those things.
So, MLB is going to step in and make Hernandez explain himself, yes?
I put in a request to speak with Angel Hernandez again and I am told that umpire supervisor Randy Marsh has declined the request. #Athletics
David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.
Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.
In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.
Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”
Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.
The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:
“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”
As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.
It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.