Osleivis Basabe had all of 1.4 seconds between the time the sinker left Erasmo Ramirez’s hand and Ryan O’Hearn’s lashed line drive short hopped in front of him.

Few batters hit the ball harder than O’Hearn does, and the Orioles first baseman one-upped himself with that 107-mph knock last week against the Tampa Bay Rays. Basabe, a rookie shortstop, isn’t a renowned fielder, and the hot shot off O’Hearn’s bat ate him up. The short hop careened off Basabe’s body into center field, O’Hearn reached first, and the official scorer at Camden Yards made his call.

Error.

In the clubhouse after the game, O’Hearn immediately knew what he’d do. He had never won an appeal before, but surely this time — when it included one of the hardest-hit balls of his career — the committee overseeing Major League Baseball’s appeals process would see it from O’Hearn’s point of view.

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They did. MLB went back and changed the ruling on the play, crediting O’Hearn with a single rather than Basabe with an error. It’s a miniscule change — one of his 100 hits in 333 at-bats this season — but it matters.

O’Hearn is hitting .300 entering an important final week of the season for the Orioles, who return to Camden Yards to host the Nationals tonight. He is aiming to close the best year of his career strongly before entering another year of contract arbitration this offseason. After struggling to find his way while with the Kansas City Royals, his high batting average proves to himself — let alone others — that O’Hearn has what it takes.

In that case, every single counts.

“I’m pumped,” O’Hearn said. “I’m pumped. Obviously, it’s good for your numbers, and I thought that was a hit, so it makes sense that got switched.”

The process for appealing a scoring decision begins with the MLB player’s association app, within a portal that allows players to appeal rulings up to 72 hours later.

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O’Hearn filled out the questionnaire, noting the players involved and including a description of why it should be overturned. Some players have more luck than others with their descriptions. In this instance, O’Hearn didn’t need to do much convincing.

He hit the ball 107 mph, after all. Just watch the video.

Still, O’Hearn’s case was reviewed by a five-person group that has overseen scoring corrections in recent seasons: former major leaguers Gregor Blanco, Rajai Davis, Raul Ibañez and Dan Otero (three hitters and one pitcher), in addition to an official scorer who was not involved in the initial ruling.

“You never know,” O’Hearn said. “I’m learning they may be more inclined to overturn it if it’s hit hard rather than, ‘Maybe a guy should’ve gotten to it but he didn’t.’ ”

With his latest overrule of the initial scoring decision, O’Hearn became 1-for-6 on challenges in his career; that’s a ratio largely on par with MLB’s overturn rate this year.

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Of the 358 appeals this season, 82 of them (about 23%) have been overturned, according to a MLB spokesperson. That’s slightly lower than the rate of the last two full seasons, with a 26.6% and 28.2% overturn rate in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks has only sent in three career challenges, and he’s lost them all. In each of his cases, Hicks said he requested hits because the defensive player was out of position and had to take multiple steps to reach the ball before it deflected off the glove, but the committee didn’t see it from his view.

“I don’t even know the point of sending it in,” Hicks laughed. “It’s never going to go my way.”

Ramón Urías has won one of his two challenges. While the group declined to change an error on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to a hit for Urías earlier this season, they removed an error from Urías in the field — fielders can appeal, too.

Urías recalled colliding with the dugout railing at Yankee Stadium in a previous season, which knocked him off balance and forced him to drop a foul ball. They took the error away, given the difficulty of a play up against the railing.

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“You have to be conscious not to ask for everything,” Urías said.

In O’Hearn’s case, however, a 107-mph one-hop grounder through the middle of the infield was worthy of a challenge. And after five failed appeals, he finally got one to go in his favor.

“If it was up to me,” O’Hearn said, “they’d all be hits.”

andy.kostka@thebaltimorebanner.com

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville. 

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