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Why is the Detroit Tigers’ Austin Hedges demanding an apology from MLB?

Whether it’s a case of the catcher being a sore loser or not, he may have a point about umpires being held accountable for bad calls.

Why is the Detroit Tigers’ Austin Hedges demanding an apology from MLB?
Jason MillerAFP

During a contentious game between the Tigers and the Guardians there was a controversial call and now Cleveland’s catcher is demanding that the league be accountable for its error.

Austin Hedges wants MLB to say ‘sorry’

When the Detroit Tigers faced the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday, few could have expected the controversy that would ensue in the very first inning of the game. Following an overturned play at the plate, the Tigers were able to register in a run and as a result, Guardians catcher Austin Hedges is now demanding an apology from the MLB.

Looking for further details? No worries. It was the top of the first inning and the Tigers were at bat with two outs. Detroit first baseman Harold Castro then proceeded to hit a ball up the middle that ricocheted off second base. At this point, Tigers infielder Javier Baez - on second base at the time - attempted to profit off of the unexpected deflection with a dash for home. Luckily for the Guardians, shortstop Tyler Freeman recovered with impressive quickness to throw him out at home. End of story. Except not. The Tigers then challenged the play on the grounds of ‘catcher interference’ and the play the play was overturned. With that, the Tigers posted a run and then Kyle Carpenter obliged by hitting a on the next at-bat. 3-0 Detroit.

Was the overturned play the difference? Austin Hedges thinks so

In truth, the Guardians almost got the win, but in the end succumbed to a 4-3 loss. It goes without saying that the controversial call was the center of postgame chatter. Speaking after the game, Hedges didn’t hide his feelings about the league and its umpires. “First off, that cost one run automatically, and then one ended up transitioning,” Hedges said. “Honestly, it’s a disgrace. It’s embarrassing. I think New York owes Zach Plesac specifically an apology because they took the ball out of his hands, the guy that was throwing the ball amazing. Overturning that call right there, like I said, it cost the game. I don’t need to get into the rest of the debacle with the umpires today because it was a really poorly executed job by them.” Hedges went on to call for umpire accountability, likening it to the manner in which players face repercussions if they perform badly.

“It’s too bad when we play a sport where we get held accountable,” Hedges said. “When we say something, we get held accountable. We get mocked. We get shamed. There is no accountability on their part right now. That’s really sad. I don’t know why. We talk about equality in this world. There ain’t no equality with that. These guys are going out there with no responsibilities.”

A costly loss for the Cleveland Guardians

Regardless of where you stand on Hedges’ complaints, or the call that was reversed, the reality is the Guardians had a lot riding on the game and they lost. Currently in the thick of a fight with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox for first place in the AL Central, Tuesday’s defeat was less than ideal for Detroit. “For a team that goes out there and fights every single night to win every game, for it to cost us a game when we’re trying to win a division, we’re trying to make the playoffs,” Hedges said. “We’re trying to do something special. For it to be taken out of our hands like that is a disgrace. It’s extremely disappointing. I’m disappointed, and that’s all I have to say.”


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