|The flight of the ball near the left foul pole.|
While the Oakland broadcast quickly ruled the play a home run, the umpires may have been hurt by the camera angle provided, in which the camera appears to zoom in on the baseball as it dropped along the foul pole, effectively exaggerating any visual separation that existed between the ball and the pole, so as to potentially create an illusion of the ball changing trajectory as all objects became larger on the monitor.
|As the ball falls to the stairs, the|
camera zooms in on the action,
creating an illusion of a potential
exaggerated change in trajectory.
Without clear and convincing evidence with which to suggest Eddings' initial call was wrong, DeMuth elected to uphold the foul ball call.
This is not the first time Dana DeMuth's crew has had to officiate a close or controversial boundary call involving instant replay.
On August 17, 2011, 2B Umpire DeMuth ruled a home run in Kansas City and upheld the call after consulting instant replay review, much to the chagrin of opposing Yankees manager Joe Girardi and other Yankees personnel. According to media at Kauffman Stadium after the game, MLB Umpire Supervisor Steve Palermo allegedly walked with DeMuth, Kerwin Danley, Eddings and Chad Fairchild to left field, within several feet of the earlier HR ball. One media report stated Palermo appeared to be "chewing them out."
The next day, MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre stated that DeMuth "misunderstood" the Kauffman Stadium ground rules and had, both before and after using instant replay, made the incorrect call.
On May 8, 2013, Hernandez ejected A's Manager Bob Melvin after failing to overturn a 9th inning in-play (double) call during the A's 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Replays appeared to indicate the fly ball struck a railing atop the outfield wall, while scribe Peter Gammons accused interim crew chief Hernandez of deliberately upholding the call in protest of instant replay.
When replay was introduced in 2008, DeMuth stated his philosophy: "If my crew member says, 'I know that hit the foul pole, I know it without a doubt in my mind, I heard it, I saw it, this absolutely happened,' well, I'm absolutely going to trust my crew member and say that call stays...Foul, fair, that call stays. That's our job."
DeMuth added, "If my crew shows me without a doubt in their mind that they made the right call, I'm sticking with it. I won't even use [instant replay]."
Wrap: Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics, 8/14/13
Video: Initially ruled foul, umpires uphold the decision after consulting instant replay review (OAK)