The Replay Command Center in New York has not been kind to the Texas Rangers this season, robbing Adolis Garcia of his first MLB homer Wednesday night.
What’s worse than an umpire blowing a call in Major League Baseball? Had you asked a decade ago, probably nothing. (Sorry, Armando Galarraga)
Now, the only thing that could be exponentially worse is a Major League umpire blowing a call with instant replay, which was established to right those wrongs.
If we want to take it even further, how about blowing an instant replay review of a player’s first big league homerun on both ends of the play.
During last night’s matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers, García walloped a ball to deep right field, at first glance clearing the fence, but ricocheting back into fair play.
The recently-promoted García turned on the jets rounding second, looking to score as the ball trickled away from the Tampa Bay outfielders.
He did, and was called safe initially. Then, the confusion and frustration ensued.
Check out the play.
Adolis Garcia was robbed of his first career home run with the Texas Rangers thanks to replay.
There is no doubt that the ball bounced off the top of the wall in right, which should’ve been a normal home run, but the initial slide into home plate is where things get dicey.
I’ll let you decide whether or not he was safe, but after seeing the replay review, to me there was no clear and convincing evidence to overturn the safe call at home plate.
Dave Raymond said it best on the broadcast, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls.”
The pure disbelief in the voices of the broadcasters, the faces of the players and the cries of Ranger fans across America is something that I’ve never seen before.
For a system implemented to improve the game, to get calls right, how does a group of umpires come together and botch one that closely.
We, however, do not see all of the angles or slow motion video that the replay coordinators do, but if the rule is based on clear and convincing evidence to overturn a call, where is the explanation.
For Adolis García, how frustrating is it to take the biggest milestone of career to this point away from a blown replay?
This is a guy the Texas Rangers wanted to see breakout, similar to Nelson Cruz’s breakout during his age-28 season.
He shortened his swing and became one of the hottest topics of spring training this year, amidst all of the competition, only to be left off of the Opening Day roster.
You would think a .375/.389/.781/1.170 OPS line this spring would be good enough to get an Opening Day look, but alas he was sent to the taxi squad.
However, Garcia finally received his shot after Ronald Guzman’s knee injury, and turned in a nice performance.
Even if he didn’t get that first homer out of the way, he did record a 2-4 night with RBI and a triple.
The missed home run call didn’t affect the final outcome of the game, either. Had it been a go-ahead long ball, I believe the Rangers would have fought more over it, but they came out on top with a 5-1 win.
Chris Woodward lifted up the rookie outfielder after the game, noting he has made and stuck to the adjustments they had been working on.
"“That’s the guy that I saw in Spring Training. He took a hard slider or cutter down away and he didn’t budge on it. Obviously, the fourth at-bat was a huge hit for us right there and just, well it didn’t put the game out of reach, but you know, it gave us a decent cushion that we desperately needed.”"
For the Rangers, they should keep giving García a chance to play and I believe he’ll continue to reward them in the long run.
Adolis García batted cleanup Wednesday night, giving slugger Joey Gallo some needed protection. I would expect to see him there quite a bit as we approach the return of Khris Davis and Willie Calhoun.
Regardless of how this shakes out, Major League Baseball needs to take a long look and truly define how replays are overturned.
Taking a kid’s first big league homer away, not once, but twice on the same play is ridiculous and needs to be fixed so it doesn’t happen to someone else down the line.
My high school baseball coach often said that baseball will put you on an island, and is the only game to put your name and number on the scoreboard when you do wrong. It is also a game of ups and downs that will humble you.
Unfortunately for Adolis García, he caught the downward trend one night, but can hopefully only go upwards from here.