Major League Baseball fans know Angel Hernandez well, and managers do too.
So well, in fact, that when a botched call happened in Tuesday's game between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians, veteran skipper Terry Francona openly expressed his frustration with the umpire.
"'Why's it always happening when you're here?'" Francona recalled telling Hernandez after the ruling, according to Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star.
On a deep fly hit by Salvador Perez, Harold Ramirez didn't make the catch cleanly, allowing the ball to bounce off the scoreboard and gifting Perez an RBI hit. Josh Naylor then caught the ball off the bounce before sending it in for relay. Confused by the play, Andrew Benintendi was stuck between second and third and appeared to be out. However, the umpires came together and decided Benintendi should be on third base.
First base umpire Hernandez stated that he made the out call as if Cleveland caught Perez's fly cleanly. After the game, he admitted he'd "basically guessed" that the ball was caught and didn’t see the play unfold.
"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," the 21-year vet conceded. "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. ...
"(Benintendi) responded to my out call. That's what got him hung up. When we got together, that's what we pieced together. He was between second and third. That's why we decided to put him at third base. He wasn't going to advance any further than third base."
Royals manager Mike Matheny, who admitted he couldn't see whether the ball was caught, said, "There was no signal, no out or safe call to kind of give the guys any guidance. The whole thing looked confusing, as it was to me as well."
"What are they going to review?" Francona said. "We knew it wasn't a catch. Everybody I think knew it but Angel."
Benintendi didn't score in the inning and Cleveland won the game 7-3.