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ANGEL IS NO UMPIRING DEVIL

By Murray Chass

October 14, 2018

At the outset, let me reiterate that I do not care for Major League Baseball’s replay reviews. I understand the desire to get it right, and if there is a way to do it easily, do it. But humans make mistakes, and mistakes are a part of the game.

Pitchers make mistakes, and the baseballs they throw to batters wind up in the stands. Pitchers don’t get do-overs. They have to live with their mistakes.

How many times have you heard a pitcher say in a post-game interview “I only made one mistake,” but the batter hit the mistake for a home run, and it cost the pitcher’s team the game?

I raise the issue of mistakes because Angel Hernandez, a major league umpire for 27 years, has been awash in criticism as a result of his work in the division series of the M.L.B. playoff series between the Red Sox and the Yankees. That he had previously sued M.L.B. for racial discrimination has not made him less visible. Joe Torre, a former World Series-winning and Hall of Fame manager, who is M.L.B.’s chief baseball officer, is a prominent figure in the July 2017 lawsuit. He did not return a call seeking comment.

Hernandez, a 57-year-old Cuban native, has been a major league umpire for 27 years. In that time he has been one of baseball’s most frequently criticized umpires. In the recent playoff series between the Red Sox and the Yankees, he had three calls overturned by replay review.

A TBS television analyst and a Hall of Fame pitcher, Pedro Martinez said of Hernandez …

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A TALE OF TWO ROOKIE MANAGERS

By Murray Chass

October 11, 2018

Two teams began the post-season with rookie managers. Now there is one.

Alex Cora and the Red Sox are playing the Astros in the American League Championship Series. Aaron Boone and the Yankees have gone home.

The Red Sox, under Cora, have achieved more than they did last year under John Farrell. The Yankees have already fallen short of what they achieved last year under Joe Girardi.

The Yankees fired Girardi a year ago supposedly not because they didn’t make it past the A.L. championship series but because of what they heard from the clubhouse. Girardi, officials said, did not …

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DAVE ANDERSON, A HELP FOR AND ON THE JOB

By Murray Chass

October 7, 2018

I had heard Dave Anderson was in ill health and called him to find out directly. This was a year or so ago, and my former New York Times colleague told me the reports were false. I, of course, was pleased to hear that. We talked, and the conversation turned to the Times.

“What do you think of what has happened to the paper?” I asked, referring to the severe change in the in the paper’s sports coverage, particularly the virtual disappearance of baseball coverage and the emphasis on bizarre non-American sports.

“It sickens me,” Anderson replied.

That view was not unexpected. Dave, who died last Thursday at the age of 89, was a meat-and-potatoes columnist. He didn’t waste his time or space with things like Australian women’s cricket and cup stacking. As a reporter, he covered all of the major sports and he continued writing about them as a …

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