I never did understand why Eric Gregg’s strike zone was so out of whack in Livan Hernandez’s favor back in the 1997 playoffs. I’ve considered any number of possibilities, from basic incompetence to some complicated theory in which Livan Hernandez’s acquaintances in the illicit drug business were somehow involved, but all of these theories have flaws.
I just read the best explanation I’ve ever heard. It’s by Jon Bois over at SB Nation and it involves the history of the color teal. Only part of that involves Gregg and Hernandez, but it is a key part. Bonus: for the first time ever, we have a transcript of Gregg’s conversation with Braves hitters during the game:
ERIC GREGG. Strike three!
McGRIFF. That was in the right-handed batter’s box.
GREGG. Sure was.
McGRIFF. The right-handed batter’s box is out of the strike zone.
GREGG. Evidently not, because that was a strike.
I just knew it.