FanDuel - WFBC

October 12, 2005

Buerhle throws a gem of a game, : but but the only thing that saves it for him is a gift from the home plate umpire, Doug Eddings, in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, A.J. Pierzynski whiffs on the third strike, but runs to first base as the Angels were headed for the dugout. Eddings calls him safe as the ball short-hopped into Paul's catcher's mitt. The slo-mo replays told a different tale though. The Sox take that gift and score on a double to tie the series at one apiece.

posted by NoMich to baseball at 10:41 PM - 95 comments

close call, but dangit, it just really sucks. Buerhle throws a gem of a game? How about some credit to Washburn who just came off a high fever and a cold...opposed to Buerhle who had a lot of rest? whatever...im just pissed.

posted by sangu at 10:51 PM on October 12

"Do we feel lucky? No,'' Pierzynski said. "Did they feel lucky when they won last night?'' Wow, just, wow. In the dictionary under luck we should see pierzynski's face. Under delusional, again. Just another reason for me to pull for the angels.

posted by justgary at 10:52 PM on October 12

even though it appeared he clearly caught the ball, Josh Paul should have not taken the play for granted and either tagged Peirzynski or tossed the ball to first. It was too close to just flip the ball back to the mound. Heads up play by Pierzynski. anyways, as a baseball fan, I am glad that the series is tied up 1-1 instead of possibly being 2-0. Also, the 0-2 pitch by Escobar was poor and Uribe made a heads up play by sensing a breaking ball was coming and stealing second base.

posted by erkno11 at 10:55 PM on October 12

Buerhle throws a gem of a game? That's what I said. How about some credit to Washburn who just came off a high fever and a cold...opposed to Buerhle who had a lot of rest? You just did, and I thank you. It was a helluva game for all three pitchers, but I only mentioned Buerhle 'cause it fit my contextualization a bit better than throwing all three names into the hat. Though I'm pulling for the Sox, I don't like how this game ended. It clearly should've gone into extra innings. Ptoo!

posted by NoMich at 10:56 PM on October 12

Buerhle threw a gem- that is for sure. I just hate it when an umps call clearly effects the outcome of a game. Clearly a case for the use of "instant replay" in MLB. The Angels should feel like they have been robbed. I just hope that they dont let this effect them for the rest of the series! I still like the Angels in 5 or 6!

posted by daddisamm at 11:00 PM on October 12

It looked to me like the catcher trapped the ball; like maybe the bottom of the ball hit the ground at the same time as he caught the sides of the ball with the glove. it was awfully close, though. (Just out of curiousity, what's the rule on a trapped ball in baseball?) From the postgame interviews, it seems like the umpire never verbally called the batter out, even though he signaled strike 3. The Angels' catcher should've just tagged the batter to be sure. He was too casual about the whole thing. I thought Mike Scioscia handled the reporters' annoying attempts to bait him, and I completely agree with his philosophy that, while the call will get a lot of attention, they should've been a position to get past a bad call. After the call, they allowed a stolen base and a line drive off the wall,.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:00 PM on October 12

same here, extra innings rock. Not to sound conspiratorial , like dad, but almost every article on the game centers on the big guys, which in this case, is buerhle, espn, mlb, etc. buerhle=1 earned run, 5 hits. washburn=1 unearned run, 4 hits. I guess, the big stars get the big spotlights. even though it appeared he clearly caught the ball, Josh Paul should have not taken the play for granted and either tagged Peirzynski or tossed the ball to first. I wouldn't blame Paul. Home plate umpire signaled a strike out, Pierzynski started to walk to the dugout, and Paul was already in the motion of rolling the ball back. By the time AJ took off, the ball was pretty much already throw (or about to be). There was no stopping it. Good at bat by Crede. Im telling you, Scoscia has got to be one of the calmest managers I've seen so far. He got mad sure, but he handled everything quite professionaly. Looks like a baby too.

posted by sangu at 11:02 PM on October 12

Karma really is true... remember last night Angel's pitchers did body fake for nth time and for me it is considered cheating. The Angels cheated last night too. So love begets love........

posted by har-har-har at 11:02 PM on October 12

*not to sound conspiratorial , like dad, but almost every article on the game like espn, mlb, centers on the big guys, which in this case, is buerhle. what body fake? i didn't catch the 1st game on tv.

posted by sangu at 11:05 PM on October 12

An umpire's view on the call Josh Paul should have not taken the play for granted and either tagged Peirzynski or tossed the ball to first. He caught the ball. He, more than anyone else, would know that. The hitter immediately started back to the dugout. Why throw to first? anyways, as a baseball fan, I am glad that the series is tied up 1-1 instead of possibly being 2-0. As a baseball fan I don't want a mistake to decide the game. Good, fair baseball is what I want. I don't care if the decision was for the red sox, it takes away from the win. It looked to me like the catcher trapped the ball We must be looking at different videos. I'm interested in what the catcher says. He knows if he trapped it. But I didn't see a trap at all. The ball never looked like it came off the ground, and there was no puff of dirt that would indicate that it did.

posted by justgary at 11:05 PM on October 12

what body fake? i didn't catch the 1st game on tv. I think he's talking about the pitcher stepping off the rubber and pretending to throw to first (which is legal, just ignore it).

posted by justgary at 11:07 PM on October 12

I sounded conspiratorial? That wasnt my intention. I feel that this is another case that would warrant the use of "Instant Replay". The Angels had other chances to win like the previous inning when they got the base runner to 3rd base and couldnt get him to score! The games should be won by the players on the field. This game got a big boost for the Umpire's call!

posted by daddisamm at 11:14 PM on October 12

I am glad Peirzynski went for it. While the call was lousy, this feels a little bit like a situation where he wanted it more than Josh Paul. Of course, on the other hand, Josh Paul probably saw the signal and figured it was done. Anyhow, good for Peirzynski for not giving up in the face of reality and logic. If he hadn't gone for it, the White Sox would not be 1-1.

posted by Joey Michaels at 11:19 PM on October 12

If he hadn't gone for it, the White Sox would not be 1-1. That, we'll never know. Without the "bad" call, the game was still tied.

posted by qbert72 at 11:35 PM on October 12

although, he clearly caught the ball, the pitch was too close to the dirt to just flip it back to the mound. it takes no effort to tag the guy out or throw the ball to first. i also don't like umpiring mistakes to effect the outcome of games. in this case, i don't think the umpire made a historical blunder. the play was just too close and the catcher should have finished the play and if you watch the video you can see the ball change directions. kind of like when they instant replay receptions in the nfl that they are trying to determine if the ball was trapped or not

posted by erkno11 at 11:39 PM on October 12

Another thing is, umpires are usually pretty dramatic with punching out batters after an inning-ending strikeout, and the umpire's reaction was too calm. He didn't act like he was calling a strikeout. It was great heads-up play by Peirzynski. It looked to me like the catcher snowconed the ball against the ground.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:40 PM on October 12

Chicago Tribune: Sweet Whiff Los Angeles Times: Angels Fold After Call

posted by kirkaracha at 11:54 PM on October 12

I sounded conspiratorial? That wasnt my intention.Nope, that was just me.

posted by sangu at 11:54 PM on October 12

Another thing-- what if scoscia didn't replace jose molina with a pinch runner, leaving josh paul to catch (paul ends up making the costly play)? Then again...what if bengie wasn't hit in the first place? I'll retract my comments about buerhle, he pitched the better game because it was a complete game as opposed to washburns' 4 innings.

posted by sangu at 11:58 PM on October 12

"It was a weird play, but we were able to capitalize on their mistake," Crede said after hitting a split-finger fastball off Kelvim Escobar. "That's what it's all about." The white sox are going to say everything except that it was a blown call (should be "ump's mistake"). although, he clearly caught the ball, the pitch was too close to the dirt to just flip it back to the mound. it takes no effort to tag the guy out or throw the ball to first. That just doesn't make any sense. If he clearly caught the ball, then it's not too close. The catcher knows if he trapped it or not. Anyone who's ever played for years knows the feeling. All he had to do was tag the hitter, so the fact that he didn't even make an effort tells me he didn't doubt he caught it. And if he didn't doubt it, there's no "well that was close" because it wouldn't be. Kirk, that snapshot shows nothing. The video shows the ball being near the dirt, it doesn't show a trapping, doesn't show anything. It's like the grassy knoll all over again. If the catcher says he trapped it, so be it. Otherwise we can throw around the word "hustle" all we want. The game was decided on a blown call. And that sucks.

posted by justgary at 12:04 AM on October 13

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posted by justgary at 12:12 AM on October 13

The umpire in question made his calls the same way the entire game. Even for the questionable call that we are all discussing. Why did he all of the sudden signal the out just like he did all of the others, but mean something else? On baseball tonight they did a run down of how the ump had signalled called 3rd strike outs prior to the one in question. He made the same gestures, and used the same body motions. Nothing changed that would make the catcher think anything was wrong.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:14 AM on October 13

It's like the grassy knoll all over again. I know! And the ball goes back and to the left...back and to the left...back and to the left. I don't agree that he clearly caught the ball. If the glove was under the ball, I might, but to me it looked like he caught the sides of the ball as the bottom of the ball hit the ground. What I saw is what the umpires are claiming, that he trapped it. (The picture's not great, but it's the best one I could find.) I agree with David Schoenfield's Page 2 comment: "Doug Eddings made the bad call, but he didn't allow Ozuna to steal second and he didn't allow Crede the double off the wall." And I agree with Scoscia: "We didn't play well enough to absorb something like that." Bad calls are a part of sports, and you have to be able to win despite them. The LA Times changed their headline; now it's "Angels' Fortunes Turn After Call."

posted by kirkaracha at 12:37 AM on October 13

The game was decided on a blown call. Crede hit a double after it. Don't get me wrong: a bad call is bad. But isn't this turning into Steve Bartman all over again? (Or, what kirkachara said.)

posted by qbert72 at 12:41 AM on October 13

I think the umps feel trapped. I agree with eric here: Eric: I thought the umps, and especially the umpiring supervisor guy, were defensive, unconvincing, and generally weak, in their comments just aired on ESPN. kirk:And I agree with Scoscia: "We didn't play well enough to absorb something like that." Bad calls are a part of sports, and you have to be able to win despite them. I don't think this is your garden variety bad call. I find it worse than a play at the plate for instance. The call wasn't needed. And his response was wishy washy. It feels more like the ump pushed his will on the game, as opposed to missing a call at first that he had to make. Unless he knew the ball was trapped, how can he make that call? As far as Scosia, I agree with page two that nothing good comes of 'we were robbed'. He has to get them thinking of game three. If this were game seven, I think his comments would be drastically different. a bad call is bad. But isn't this turning into Steve Bartman all over again? So different on so many levels it's not even comparable in my opinion.

posted by justgary at 12:46 AM on October 13

Crede hit a double after it. It's much easier to hit a double when you get 4 outs instead of 3.

posted by justgary at 12:48 AM on October 13

My problem with this situation is that people are blaming a single event for an outcome (Sox win game 2) that is a consequence of a whole lot of events. The Page 2 guys are doing the same thing, saying that if Pierzynski doesn't run to first, the White Sox trail the series 0-2. That's just plain wrong. This one event happened, and it should not have, and it had consequences. But there is absolutely no way to know what would have been the outcome of the game if the bad call did not happen. Anyways... I do agree that Scocsia is doing a great job in this tough situation.

posted by qbert72 at 12:59 AM on October 13

Well, I agree there was no guarantee of an angels win. It could have been a really exciting ending without the controversy. I would have liked to see how it played out. Hopefully this won't go seven.

posted by justgary at 01:07 AM on October 13

My problem with this situation is that people are blaming a single event for an outcome (Sox win game 2) that is a consequence of a whole lot of events. That single event robbed the Angels of a chance to bat in the 10th. I see what you're saying about "no way to know what would have been the outcome," but the bad call definitely drastically affected the outcome. don't think this is your garden variety bad call. I find it worse than a play at the plate for instance. The call wasn't needed. And his response was wishy washy. It feels more like the ump pushed his will on the game, as opposed to missing a call at first that he had to make. Unless he knew the ball was trapped, how can he make that call? Pierzynski pushed his will on the game by running to first, but I agree with the rest.

posted by dusted at 01:30 AM on October 13

That single event robbed the Angels of a chance to bat in the 10th. Allow me to re-phrase: if that bad call is not made, the Angels are batting in the 10th.

posted by dusted at 01:32 AM on October 13

Mr. Eddings ... you're guilty Here's what I said earlier: He caught the ball. He, more than anyone else, would know that. The hitter immediately started back to the dugout. Why throw to first? From the catcher: "No. You're not going to tag the batter or throw to first if you know you caught the ball. No catcher would do that.'' If he's telling the truth (I believe him) and he caught the ball, and the runner started back home, and he thought the ump called him out, there's no reason for him to throw to first. Why would it even cross his mind? I'd like to see the umps video where it shows the ball changing direction. Of course, then they say it was inconclusive, so I'm not sure they saw anything. And I still haven't heard how the ump knew it hit the ground while making the call behind the catcher. Did he 'hear' it hit the ground? If the video itself is inconclusive, slowed down and enlarged, how did he make the call on the field? The mind boggles.

posted by justgary at 03:02 AM on October 13

Does anyone not smirk a little at the odd parallel between this play, and the third-strike run by Robinson Cano in game 5 of the ALDS with the Angels/Yankees? Cano was rung up in a key situation in game 5, but ran down the line and beat the throw. However, he was a touch inside the line, and was called out on what some consider to be a similarly questionable call (me, I thought it was clear cut). I guess this is a live by the sword, die by the sword moment for the Angels. I think the rule is stupid, though- you struck out, why should you get a second chance just because the catcher dropped the ball? Seems to me that it upsets the balance of baseball- you can have four outs in an inning!

posted by hincandenza at 04:47 AM on October 13

I think it's due to the structure of the rules. A strikeout (I believe) is a putout by the catcher. So if the catcher doesn't catch the ball, you're free to try to take the base.

posted by yerfatma at 06:14 AM on October 13

It was a blown call. It wasn't a close call, or a close play - it was a terrible fuck-up by the ump. The reaction of the catcher and the full video replay seemed to show that the ball was caught - frankly, I don't see how you can tell otherwise. It's too bad. It has already impacted the series in a big way.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:07 AM on October 13

The Sox must be very proud of this one. They complained during the season about "other" teams using cheat tactics to strike out hitters and they pull this. While I do understand this was the umps fault and also not cheating, how can any team be satisfied winning this way? The Ump missed this call big time by not asking for the 3rd base Umps opinion to begin with. When We used to hear growing up old managers asking didn't you see it, do you need glasses? This is exactly what they were talking about. The Ump calls a strike on a ball that never touches ground, A.J. heads toward the dugout, Catcher rolls ball towards mound and A.J. for some reason takes off for first and Ump calls him safe there. This series should be 2-0 Angels and there is no arguement for that. I talked to several Sox fans since last night already and they all said the same damn thing. If this is how officiating is going to be in baseball, then it won't be the player strikes losing the fans, it will be the Umps. I agree that Umps make these kind of mishaps at times, but these games are way too important to mess up.

posted by melcarek69 at 08:33 AM on October 13

I don't know. I saw the FOX version where they blew up the ball and it could go either way. It was very close. Someone said: "No. You're not going to tag the batter or throw to first if you know you caught the ball. No catcher would do that.'' Actually, on a close call like that every catcher in their right mind would tag the runner. I don't care if the catcher knows HE caught it. The ump is not attached to his arm and the ump's opinion is the only one that counts. As far as I know, every coach I have ever known would tell a catcher to tag the runner just for insurance. I have seen catcher's do it all year long.

posted by mcstan13 at 08:34 AM on October 13

Let me recant a bit, the game should have went into extra innings where the Sox may have won but We will never know. Let's just say without this play, it may be 2-0 right now.

posted by melcarek69 at 08:35 AM on October 13

I think that the umpire must have done something different or else Pierzynski would not have run to first. Pierzynski heard how the umpire worked all night and so he knew that he wasn't called out. So, then why didn't Paul recognize that Pierzynski wasn't called out? It was a close call. I don't agree that we should just take Paul's word for it that he caught the ball. It only matters if the umpire thought he caught the ball. Obviously the umpire needs to make it more clear the difference between a third strike and an out.

posted by bperk at 09:04 AM on October 13

melcarek69: Let's just say without this play, it may be 2-0 right now.
And as I noted, melcarek69, but for a friendly call by the ump in game 5 of the Yankees series, it's quite possible the Angels wouldn't even be in the playoffs anymore... You can't bitch and moan in one instance and not in the other. Besides, to me it looked like a trap of the ball on the ground- had an outfielder made a catch like that it would not be ruled a catch. And if the catcher doesn't catch the ball cleanly because it hits the ground first/during the catch, that is a wild pitch by definition.
yerfatma: I think it's due to the structure of the rules. A strikeout (I believe) is a putout by the catcher. So if the catcher doesn't catch the ball, you're free to try to take the base.
See, that still seems sketchy- it's a putout by the catcher due to catching the ball, but it's really the pitcher who did it, for all intents and purposes. And that rule doesn't come into effect in all circumstances, after all, but just in cases where first base is not occupied and there are less than two out. It's ruled a wild pitch or passed ball depending on how the ball was missed by the catcher, but not an error, it is recorded as a strikeout but not an out (and therefore not as a 1/3 of an inning pitched). Like I said, I understand the rule, and even the idea of the catcher "catching" the throw and ruling it much like you do a fielder throwing to first... it just seems sketchy to actually call it strike 3, record it as a strikeout, and yet the player is not an actual out. Effectively, it's phantom outs, which is what bothers me as a purist: it means for example that there are strikeouts recorded which never actually show up as 1/3 of an inning pitched- that the numbers from all the stats technically cannot add up. It just seems wrong to me in that mystical, quasi-spiritual kabbala- like quality baseball and its numbers seems to have. :) And that's why the rule rubs me the wrong way. Infield fly rule? Makes perfect sense to me. But this rule? It seems off... I can understand it, but it seems like it's a rule there shouldn't be- strikes 1 and 2 are perfectly valid strikes even if the ball sails 10 feet over the catcher's head, but strike 3 in that manner entitles you to run to first, but only in some situations of base runners and/or outs? Just seems... off.

posted by hincandenza at 09:07 AM on October 13

Pierzynski pushed his will on the game by running to first. I look at it like a cather "framing" a pitch. If the ump buys he buys it. It's like cheating within the rules. You can't deny results.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:08 AM on October 13

Thats true. I agree with all that for sure. I also agree with what others have said. The finality of this game left me a bit too emotional and I really don't care who wins this one anyway. These umps needs to act more professionally and that's the problem. Paul should have tagged A.J. and if he did, this whole thing would be moot. Never put an important game decision in the hands of any ump or referee.

posted by melcarek69 at 09:10 AM on October 13

It was a blown call. It wasn't a close call, or a close play - it was a terrible fuck-up by the ump.

This was not the first time nor it will be the last time that an umpire makes a mistake; after all they are human. Bringing in instant replay could be a solution, but the truth is that right now, umpires have only their perception to go with, and we must trust that they are trying to be fair.

Watching the replay, in slow motion, frame by frame, Yes! You can see it was a blown call, but the umpire doesn't have that luxury.

The umpire clearly made two signals:

  • 1.- Hand straight out = Batter swings - no contact
  • 2.- Strike signal which is not the same as the "YER OUT" scream!
  • It is in the signal were I believe the confusion arises. The catcher thought, rightfully so, that the batter was struck-out and that the inning was over, but A.J. being a more expirienced catcher, noticed that the umpire had only signaled the 3rd. strike - not the OUT! Technically, the 3rd. strike is not an out if a batter swings at it and misses and the ball hits the ground or gets away from the catcher, nonentheless, the umpires signal this 3rd. strike but not an OUT! This allows the cather to know that the play is still alive.

    A.J. noticed that the umpire called the swing- no contact- and then realized that he signaled only the third strike, but did not SAY "yer out!". This is the momment he decideds to run for it, because the play is still "alive". The Angels' catcher got confused, he knew he had caught the ball, and that it was third strike, so he assumed that the umpire, who called the third strike, would call the out. Well, guess what, the perception the umpire had was that the ball had hit the ground, so he calls the strike but not the out! The umpire never says out loud "yer out", like he had done in all previous strike outs- as shown in Baseball Tonight's rerun of the situation, he merely signaled the strike - which by now we all know is not the same. A.J. did notice this!!!!!

    As I said before, the problem was that the Angels' catcher was used to associating the third strike with the out, the signal for the strike was the same always, but the umpire also would yell out the out in the previous strike outs, and he did not yell the out in that play, merely signling the thrid strike.... play on, the rest is now sad history. Even though I'm rooting for the WSox, I do not like to see this type of blown calls. End of the story!

    I remember far more worse calls, like the home-run given to the yanks a few years back as fan reached into the field and literally took it from the outfielder's glove.... So baseball has been and will always be full of momments like this. Yes it sucks! But its part of the game. Can it be fixed? I believe instant replay would help, making it more "fair", but then we have to go ito a whole different discussion : Is that the way we want to go? Will it take or give to the game? I believe that in the end, we - the Fans - should have a big "say" on this.... What is it that we want! and not let the top-executive-dawgs make decisions for all of us - the one's that pay to watch!

    Always remember, in any sport you play or have played, you have been tought to play the whistle, not assume anything, let the Ref. make the calls. In baseball, its the umpire who decides and makes the calls. If he signals a third strike but not calls the OUT - What does that tell you? Run (to the batter)! Tag / Throw ( to the catcher). End of discussion

    posted by zippinglou at 09:12 AM on October 13

    I agree, the Yankees got jobbed too by the Umps. This is exactly what I am talking about. I hate the Yankees and I say that. Like I said, never put the outcome of any game in any sport in the hands of an official unless that's the only possible way. I am not arguing with anything but that. Too many bad calls being made and it seems that they are getting worse every year. I realize that no official is perfect but when you can appeal to another Ump for his thoughts, that is what he needs to do.

    posted by melcarek69 at 09:22 AM on October 13

    umpires are getting to be very much PRIMA DONAS they think thier calls are god but they are god spelled backwards dog a lot of times like the fat a.s that threw johnson out of the game these guys should be cut down to size (of thier heads) a few notches maybe by that waste of a commisioner selig with that stupid tupee

    posted by FrankySP at 09:27 AM on October 13

    Tough call, but a major league catcher in a championship series needs to make sure that the batter is out not just assume because it was close he's going to get the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, as other posters have said, bad calls or close calls (I think this one could have gone either way) are part of all sports, a championship team has to overcome this kind of stuff. By the way, from the tone of some of these posts, it seems that a couple of you actually believe that the Angels (or BoSox or Yankees or Cards or Astros, etc.) would have given that out back because "it was the right thing to do". You are wrong. Trust me.

    posted by sic at 09:55 AM on October 13

    I don't understand how anyone could say he clearly caught the ball. I used super slo-mo replay on my TIVO and I still could not tell. Regardless, it was a close call. People seem to be forgetting the other horrible calls this series and focusing on this one. So far, this has been one of the poorest umpiring efforts I've seen. Just Gary- you just have sour grapes because the White Sox tore up your beloved Red Sox.

    posted by willthrill72 at 11:29 AM on October 13

    In game 3 I would love to see Molina tag the hitter after every strike three, regardless of where the pitch is...Chest high fastball, swing and miss, apply the tag. That shit would be worth watching. Sad end to a good game. I could care less what team wins, but last nights game left me unfulfilled.

    posted by bigrobbieb at 11:59 AM on October 13

    Someone said: "No. You're not going to tag the batter or throw to first if you know you caught the ball. No catcher would do that.'' Actually, on a close call like that every catcher in their right mind would tag the runner. The 'someone' was the catcher. Look, I don't know how many more ways to say this. If you catch a ball cleanly, you know it, no matter how close to the ground. "Well, I caught it cleanly but it was low so maybe the ump thinks it hit the ground" does not go through your mind. And still I haven't heard anything from the ump on why he made the call in the first place. If we're slowing down our tivos to mega slomo and can't tell, what did he see from behind the catcher? Just Gary- you just have sour grapes because the White Sox tore up your beloved Red Sox. posted by willthrill72 When it comes to baseball discussion I'm about as even as you can be. That call was blown no matter what team it was called on. We have posters everywhere saying "yankees lost yahhhh!!!!" and you call me on being biased? That's a good one.

    posted by justgary at 11:59 AM on October 13

    In game 3 I would love to see Molina tag the hitter after every strike three, regardless of where the pitch is...Chest high fastball, swing and miss, apply the tag. That shit would be worth watching. Ha.

    posted by justgary at 12:01 PM on October 13

    By the way willthrill, I thought the yankees were screwed in the base running play from game 5, and said so. And you know how much a sox fan hates the yankees. So take your 'sour grapes' elsewhere.

    posted by justgary at 12:15 PM on October 13

    Could do the Thurmon Munson and drop all of the 3rd strikes on purpose and throw to first. Pads the assists total.

    posted by yerfatma at 12:15 PM on October 13

    Has anyone asked Pierzynski if he's related to Obi-Wan Kenobi? Because it really does look like he pulled a Jedi mind trick on the umpire. Ump: Strike three! You're... AJ: The ball touched the ground. Ump:...the ball touched the ground. AJ: I am not out yet. Ump: You are not out yet.

    posted by grum@work at 12:30 PM on October 13

    A.J. being a more expirienced catcher, noticed that the umpire had only signaled the 3rd. strike - not the OUT Haven't read the entire thread, but I think if you look at the complete replay you will see that the umpire signaled the third strike and then signaled the out. I think it was not until the batter turned back and started running to first that the umpire thought that the ball might not have been caught; in other words, that maybe he missed it. I think the batter fooled the umpire into ruling the ball hit the ground. But then the third base ump backed him up, though I do not see anyway that he could tell from a side angle. Doesn't really matter; the game is over and I hope it does not end up deciding the series. If I were the Angel catcher, I would tag on every third strike if there are men on base and throw to first base for a tag when there are not. Or maybe when they whip the ball around the infield after a strike out, the first baseman should make a show of going over and tagging the bag.

    posted by graymatters at 12:34 PM on October 13

    Because it really does look like he pulled a Jedi mind trick on the umpire. Something similar actually crossed my mind. It's almost as if when he ran to first out of the blue he helped the ump question the call. The ump almost looked lost. Maybe there's something to be said for the hitter pushing his will onto the ump.

    posted by justgary at 12:45 PM on October 13

    NLCS Game 3 Angels - 6 White Sox - 4 Shields - 6 stupid body fakes Rodriguez- 10 stupid fakes Escobar - 5 stupid fakes Molina - 8 tags at least it's 1-1 now....... which looks like 0-0............ which looks like even.......which looks like !@#!@#!

    posted by har-har-har at 12:54 PM on October 13

    Manager's reactions: Scioscia: "It was a swing, our catcher caught it, Doug Eddings called him out and somewhere along the line, because the guy ran to first base, he altered the call. He called him out and that's what is disappointing." Guillen: "I always say I'd rather be lucky than good."

    posted by justgary at 01:13 PM on October 13

    Throughout this series--aside from the pitching which has been even (brilliant)--the Angels have played with more desire. They wanted it more, and they were imposing their will on the Sox. A.J.'s reflex action--sprinting to first once he realized the ball had hit the ground (or come close) and not hearing the out call--was the first instance all series of the Sox imposing their will and wanting it more. Shouldn't we give AJ at least a little credit for keeping his head in the game, and staying WITHIN the game rather than pulling a typical major league prima donna move and slamming his helmet? In fact, we don't really know how often this play could occur because most major leaguers give up on the at bat once strike three is called. For those of you who think the White Sox got four outs in the 9th, even pretending the call was outright blown doesn't vastly alter the game landscape. Did the Sox only got two outs in the 7th when Crede was "doubled up"; did they only get two outs in the second when Rowand was thrown out at home? Rather than claim you were cheated, you have to look in the mirror and accept that, blown call or not, there's no way Crede should have made it close, nor Rowand. What about balls and strikes? Paul Konerko and Garrett Anderson both had at least one four-strike at-bat, and it's hard to deny there were stretches early in the game where the Angels batters had a narrow plate and later when the Sox batters walked up to a wide one. The nature of sports is to take what you're given. If AJ "willed" his way to first (please, this is an ump who had been combative with the White Sox all night), more power to him. Would any other player on the field who had his head into the game have NOT done what AJ did? No offense, but does every friggin' game played these days have to have some kind of asterisk because the losing team feels bad about losing?

    posted by Brett at 01:58 PM on October 13

    Also, the White Sox' first run was due to the Angels' first error, and only the fact that the White Sox' nutty baserunning was even worse than the Angels' loosy-goosey ballhandling on the second error kept the second error from resulting in a run. (I've said it before and I'll say it again: no buttered popcorn in the dugout.) Actually, there should've been two errors on that play--fielding and throwing. Salon's King Kaufman:

    Pierzynski, after following through his swing, instinctively juked to avoid a tag by Paul. If the ball had hit the dirt before Paul caught it, he would have been required to tag Pierzynski or throw to first to record the out. On any third strike that's low, the catcher routinely tags the batter, whether the ball hit the dirt or not, just to make sure. The home-plate umpire, looking over the catcher's shoulder, has a tough angle to see whether the ball caught the ground, so the standard move is to tag and remove all doubt. The batter often makes a perfunctory move to avoid the tag, which is what it looked like Pierzynski was doing. Everyone is saying he started walking back toward the dugout, but that's not what happened. He juked, then, upon realizing Paul wasn't trying to tag him, he took off toward first.

    posted by kirkaracha at 02:10 PM on October 13

    Pierzynski, after following through his swing, instinctively juked to avoid a tag by Paul. I'm sorry, but that's a load of crap. You juke away from the catcher and toward first base. In this case. Pierzynski, a lefthanded batter, crossed over the plate into the righthand hitter box, moving toward his own dugout. Then, he decided to come back and run to first. Why would you juke all the way across the plate toward third base if you are trying to avoid a tag in order to go to first base?

    posted by graymatters at 02:44 PM on October 13

    Like it was stated in an earlier post he did not yer out and decided to make a break for it. He got on on a technicality. We should applaud his quick thinking. I think it was a great play.

    posted by HATER 187 at 02:55 PM on October 13

    No offense, but does every friggin' game played these days have to have some kind of asterisk because the losing team feels bad about losing? Comment icon posted by Brett at 1:58 PM CST on October 13 My thoughts exactly. Sour grapes are sour grapes.

    posted by sic at 02:58 PM on October 13

    Eh... not sour grapes, just a discussion about the play. This is a sports discussion site, no?

    posted by dusted at 03:11 PM on October 13

    We should applaud his quick thinking. And some people would probably be saying the same thing about A-Rod's slap last year if he had gotten away with it. No sour grapes here. I'm not really rooting for either team, just want to see some good baseball. Though I would not mind the Sox winning since it has been so long since they made the Series.

    posted by graymatters at 04:13 PM on October 13

    I personally don't think this one play is going to dictate the whole series. The series winning team still has to win 3 more games. Too many errors last night by everyone. If the sox hadn't got the 1st unearned run we probably wouldn't be having this conversation because the series would probably be 2-0 but that is still alot of speculation. Look at it this way it gives us at least one more game in this 7 game series instead of possibly ending it in 4. I like baseball so I am glad we have one more game and not a sweep by either team.

    posted by skydivemom at 04:29 PM on October 13

    if you aint cheatin you aint tryin

    posted by HATER 187 at 04:59 PM on October 13

    This is a big story, but the bottom line is that the Umps blew the call-period. Too much attention is being placed on this issue. Hopefully the Umps will get things right during the rest of the playoffs.

    posted by daddisamm at 05:04 PM on October 13

    Scroll up dusted, there is the odd sour grape strewn among the discussion.

    posted by sic at 05:26 PM on October 13

    "Doug was always far from perfect on the field, even in the minor leagues. Witnessing major protestation over one of his calls is nothing new, and most of the time, the senior members of his crew have to be the ones to step in and mitigate the damage - which is what we saw last night in Chicago."

    posted by mr_crash_davis at 06:39 PM on October 13

    Wait, I have a solution, just give the Angels 4 outs in the ninth inning of the next game !

    posted by pikkukani at 07:06 PM on October 13

    Look, I don't know how many more ways to say this. If you catch a ball cleanly, you know it, no matter how close to the ground. "Well, I caught it cleanly but it was low so maybe the ump thinks it hit the ground" does not go through your mind. If you are any kind of catcher, it should go through your mind every stinking time. Dropped third-strike calls are incredibly difficult for the plate umpire (more on that in a bit), so you should never take for granted your perception of the play is the same as the ump's. If it's even reasonably close, you slap the tag on the batter and make the decision for the ump. Hell, most ballplayers are taught to run toward first on a third strike no matter what, because you never know what the skill level of the catcher or the umpire's call will be. As a pretty seasoned umpire myself, I always hated making third-strike calls. You're nearly completely blocked from view not only by the catcher, but by the catcher's mitt. How can you tell whether the ball was trapped or not? Many times, it's the body language of the catcher that sells the play, but apparently it's not like that for Eddings. In my mind, Paul did catch the ball cleanly, but he didn't sell it to the ump -- raise the glove, show the ball and, damn it, hold it in case he doesn't agree with you or just flippin' tag him. As for the signal, they are individual to every ump, but generally umpires are told to give the signal for the strike and hold a clenched fist to represent the out. The question is whether or not he verbalized the third out, and it's here I think something's going to change. The intention is the same as the fair/foul call (if I yell something, it's a foul ball/if I don't, it's fair), but it seems much more likely for that clenched fist to be misinterpreted by the people in the field. I immediately assumed Eddings had verbally called him out because of the reaction of the players in the field, but after watching the replay over and over, I can't tell whether he was yelling anything or it's just his mask bobbing around. Having said that, the pumping fist would be more likely to be noticed by the Angel fielders in a roaring crowd, though, and Eddings did that -- and rather pointedly. Bottom line? Lousy call and some indeterminate hand signals, but we wouldn't be having this discussion if Paul had just held the ball for a second or two. On preview: The SportsbyBrooks guy is a moron. All umpires are far from perfect in the field and they all blow calls, even if they have been promoted too soon. Nice job of throwing your "friend" (you know, the guy who gave you rides and stuff?) under the bus in an attempt to get more Googlers to visit your site. Stick to your pictures of girls with big breasts.

    posted by wfrazerjr at 07:30 PM on October 13

    "Stick to your pictures of girls with big breasts." You say that like it's a bad thing, wfrazerjr. :)

    posted by mr_crash_davis at 07:38 PM on October 13

    For those of you who think the White Sox got four outs in the 9th, even pretending the call was outright blown doesn't vastly alter the game landscape. Did the Sox only got two outs in the 7th when Crede was "doubled up"; did they only get two outs in the second when Rowand was thrown out at home? Are you serious? One, it does change the landscape drastically. It's the difference between going to the 10th tied or losing in the 9th. Second, please tell me you're not comparing the blown call to player mistakes that cost their team outs. That's just bizarre. No offense, but does every friggin' game played these days have to have some kind of asterisk because the losing team feels bad about losing? I didn't realize every game had this controversial an ending. No one's asking for an asterisk. But if the sox end up winning it in 7 it's going to be a huge part of the series. To deny otherwise is to stick your head into the sand. I don't get this whole attitude that 'well, they could have played better'. Mistakes made by both teams have nothing to do with the blown call. The teams played to a 1-1 tie. The call gives one team 4 outs. What does the fact that the angels committed an error in the first inning have to do with that? Most people (except on spofi) believe the call was blown. It would be nice if the umpires acknowledged they could have made a mistake instead of stonewalling. Even if he made the right call his actions after were strange. Even the sox catcher, when asked, didn't understand what the ump was doing. My thoughts exactly. Sour grapes are sour grapes. Exactly where are the 'sour grapes'? I don't think that phrase means what you think it does. Look at it this way it gives us at least one more game in this 7 game series instead of possibly ending it in 4. I like baseball so I am glad we have one more game and not a sweep by either team. I'm a huge fan of baseball skydivemom, but I want the game decided on the field by the teams. If a team sweeps, so be it. Having an umpire prolong the series shouldn't be applauded by any baseball fan. Hell, most ballplayers are taught to run toward first on a third strike no matter what, because you never know what the skill level of the catcher or the umpire's call will be. Bull. I've played (at least a little) at every level besides professional for 20 years and have never been taught that. And if for some reason I blanked out all 20 years on the day that was taught, let me point out that you NEVER see what you're describing. Bottom line? Lousy call and some indeterminate hand signals, but we wouldn't be having this discussion if Paul had just held the ball for a second or two. We wouldn't be having this discussion if the ump had made the correct call. To put it on all paul for not holding the ball for a sec, wow. I have no doubts you are an ump. And yes, I know mistakes happen, but the umps reactions and comments were pathetic. Admit them and move on. Acting like we're idiots and didn't see what we saw is comical. It wasn't until Pierzynski sprinted for first (a great human moment, by the way, just sort of hoping the fake out might work) that -- my interpretation here; Eddings claims otherwise -- he allowed himself to be taken in by the scam. Eddings didn't need replay, in truth. He just needed to believe his own call in the first place. Human error? Well, Josh Paul could have simply tagged out Pierzynski at home plate after the pitch. We teach that kind of stuff in Pony League and Cal Ripken League all the time. If there's even a remote doubt, apply the tag and be done with it. You can argue that Paul didn't bother because he knew he'd caught the ball and Eddings confirmed it, but, look, are we going to talk about eliminating the potential for human miscue or not? link

    posted by justgary at 07:52 PM on October 13

    A.J. being a more expirienced catcher, noticed that the umpire had only signaled the 3rd. strike - not the OUT
    Haven't read the entire thread, but I think if you look at the complete replay you will see that the umpire signaled the third strike and then signaled the out

    Read the whole thread, sorry it's long, but it explains what you're missing: The ump's first signal (hand straight out) means that the batter swang but made no contact! The second call he makes is the third strike.... The ump never called the third out, thus the play was alive, the catcher has to tag or throw the runner out, and the runner's job is to try to get on base, which in this case is what happened. No cheating here! From the umps perspective, the ball had hit the ground.....This back-up catcher, not being as expirienced as Molina, reacted out of instinct (I caught the ball, he swang - out - inning over) while the reality was that the Ump only signaled the missed swing, then the third strike but not the third out! --- A.J. thought he was out too, he started heading back to his dougout, but he got to see the Ump's call of just the strike and did not hear the out being called; so what does A.J. do as a more expirienced player, he runs for it! The Angels' back-up catcher does not look back at the Ump, he merely believes that the guy swang , missed and he caught the ball cleanly - therefore the inning was over.... Costly mistake! "It aint over until the Big Guy in BLUE yells the third OUT! Not the third strike (which is what he signaled), he doesn't call th e out because he assumed the ball had hit the ground, therefore the play was alive... Only A.J. noticed this... Give the guy credit... the other catcher fcked up for assuming things... not the Ump.(even though he missed the call) ... Not A.J. --- .

    posted by zippinglou at 07:55 PM on October 13

    By the way fraz, how does holding the ball for a second prove anything? It doesn't. If the ball was trapped, holding it for sec proves nothing. No matter if he trapped the ball or not, he had it, then rolled it back to the mound. So he obviously had the ball. Basically, the ump thought he trapped the ball. Holding it proves nothing.

    posted by justgary at 07:58 PM on October 13

    "I should have either said, 'No catch,' or, if I did have a catch, that he was out. Which I never said: 'He's out,' " Eddings said. Eddings told the newspaper that he planned to change his style to more clearly reflect the difference between calling a strike and calling a batter out. Plate umpires are trained to shout "No catch!" or indicate that the ball is in play after a swinging strike; Eddings, who has maintained that he was right in saying the ball hit the dirt before Paul gloved it, was silent. link Kudos to him for stepping up to the plate.

    posted by justgary at 11:04 PM on October 13

    The crux of my disagreement with you, justgary, is that you're calling the third-strike play an ump's mistake and I'm calling it Paul's mistake. Using my context, for me to compare the play to other player mistakes earlier in the game is perfectly reasonable. The Sox losing an out because the ump blew the call in the 7th/Crede wandered too far off of second is the same out that the Angels lost because the ump blew the call in the 9th/Paul casually assumed the ump saw him catch the ball cleanly. You can't pick and choose which close plays become player mistakes and which are umpire mistakes. Moreover, as others have said, you simply can't put a mistake like that on an umpire. Paul and even Escobar, at the minimum, could have avoided this by seeing the play through and closing any loopholes. A trapped or nearly-trapped ball in the outfield is raised immediately to sell the out. That's instinctive on the part of players. In fact, whenever a player doesn't raise the ball to sell it, the reaction I have is that it was a trap. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul had the same "wait a sec..." change of direction that AJ did; the problem was that if Paul did, it was too late, because he'd already taken himself out of the play by rolling the ball onto the field. Tim McCarver's sanctimonious ranting "a catcher knows when he caught the ball" makes little sense to me. Wouldn't an outfielder instictively "know" when he's caught the ball? A pitcher instinctively "know" when he's thrown a strike? A batter instictively "know" when he's checked his swing? I scrolled up and noted 10 writers pro-AJ, 11 pro-Paul, so neither side will cnvince the other. Honestly, if Paul was playing for my team, as much as I would be angry at a borderline play going against me, I would ultimately fault my player, whose brain cramp lost an out for my team. You can say the White Sox "caught" a break on this one, but you make your own breaks with guts and brains. I'll end just by repeating this earlier comment: Would any other player on the field who had his head into the game have NOT done what AJ did? Brett wrote: For those of you who think the White Sox got four outs in the 9th, even pretending the call was outright blown doesn't vastly alter the game landscape. Did the Sox only got two outs in the 7th when Crede was "doubled up"; did they only get two outs in the second when Rowand was thrown out at home? Justgary replied: Are you serious? One, it does change the landscape drastically. It's the difference between going to the 10th tied or losing in the 9th. Second, please tell me you're not comparing the blown call to player mistakes that cost their team outs. That's just bizarre.

    posted by Brett at 05:16 AM on October 14

    I dont care who MAY have caught the ball....the bottom limne, the fact of the matter, the unpire is in charge and when he can't get it right with some helpo from hios comrades, games get weird. Does HE know the rules I know? Read every word..I dont care what your mechanics ARE: And what makes baseball so absolute are the rules. Third Strike Rule 6.05 (b): A batter is out when a third strike is legally caught by the catcher... Third Strike Rule 6.09 (b): The batter becomes a runner when the third strike called by the umpire is not caught ... When a batter becomes a base runner on a third strike not caught by the catcher and starts for the dugout, or his position, and then realizes his situation and then attempts to reach first base, he is not out unless he or first base is tagged before he reaches first base... ...regardless of the umpire's initial, definitive and absolute motion. 6.05, ball is legally caught by catcher, regardless of what crazy-ass 'mechanic' is used by an ump, anywhere, he can't get his motion down or say the right word along with the mechanic. 6.09, this ball was caught--- it was so caught, even the catcher DIDN'T tag the batter....as they do when they are even slightly unsure and may have trapped. with these rules WHO needs an umpire, I mean really.

    posted by samboney at 07:58 AM on October 14

    ...third strike is legally caught by the catcher... Eddings punched a strike or an OUT with the fist..it was the THIRD --when I counted --and it was caught. The ball can make contact with the ground before the mit(so trapping doesnt matter, Mr ump), it just CAN'T make contact with the bat without being in play, and Eddings motioned with right hand, "no contact" (hint here: w/ bat) and then behind it, the punch.

    posted by samboney at 08:05 AM on October 14

    I've played (at least a little) at every level besides professional for 20 years and have never been taught that. Then you've had some piss-poor coaches. You don't see it at the professional level much because I think the batter just assumes the ball is going to be handled cleanly. If you watch well-coached teams at the Little League and high-school level, they almost always make the move toward first on any ball in the dirt because who knows what the catcher has done with it. Here's the exact line I was taught and the one I use when coaching: You run and let the umpire tell you you're out. Pretty simple. We wouldn't be having this discussion if the ump had made the correct call. To put it on all paul for not holding the ball for a sec, wow. I'm not putting it all on Paul. He didn't (most likely) blow the call -- Eddings did. But Paul should have hung on to the ball until he was absolutely sure the umpire agreed with his assessment of the situation. Is it a mistake anyone could have made? Sure, but it's still a mistake, and knowing that umpires are fallible and are going to blow calls, wouldn't you err on the side of caution? I was going to tell you what a catcher or a fielder holding the ball and displaying it does for an umpire, but Brett did that already. Thanks, Brett. Just out of curiosity, why in the hell were the umpires put out in front of that public firing squad anyway? What did that accomplish, and how does that lead to better umpiring? Whenever there's a controversial call from now on, we're going to have a press conference and let these guys get grilled? MLB's chief of umpires should have discussed the situation in private with the crew and then issued a statement.

    posted by wfrazerjr at 09:18 AM on October 14

    Here's the exact line I was taught i was taught that as well. and as a catcher (both in high school and college) i was taught to tag the batter on any third strike that was close to being in the dirt in case the ump didn't see that it was a clean catch. i've also seen infielders who cleanly catch low liners throw to first anyway in case the ump didn't think it was a clean catch, just to be sure. the ump blew the call. but i feel that Paul also should've tagged A.J. on a pitch that close to the dirt.

    posted by goddam at 10:06 AM on October 14

    Exactly where are the 'sour grapes'? I don't think that phrase means what you think it does. Nope. It means exactly what I think it does and you are pretty much the main purveyor of said grapes. Just accept that close calls are part of the game, that all teams catch good and bad breaks, that the possibility of receiving those breaks come by being either active or passive, smart or dumb, that the catcher of your (adopted) team blew it by not tagging the batter and that the White Sox (your adopted nemesis) don't have to apologize for winning this game. Or not, MLB and the ALCS moves on regardless.

    posted by sic at 10:52 AM on October 14

    By the way, I love the take-first-base-on-a-dropped-third-strike rule. It's one of the odd little rules that makes baseball unique. And some people would probably be saying the same thing about A-Rod's slap last year if he had gotten away with it. That's a completly different situation. Pierzynski made a heads-up, completely legal play. A-Rod was cheating. I personally don't think this one play is going to dictate the whole series. I don't even the call dictated the outcome of this game. Bad calls happen, and the Angels should've shrugged it off and won the game anyway instead of folding (as even the original L.A. Times headline said). The umps didn't let Ozuna steal second, and the umps didn't give up the double to Crede. The Raiders did the same thing in the infamous "tuck rule" game in 2002. If I may quote my own SportsFilter column:

    The Raiders lost their playoff game against the Patriots because they collapsed after having the controversial no-fumble call go against them. (Which was a correct call of a stupid rule.) It was their reaction to the call, and not the call itself, that cost them the game. All the call did was let the Patriots tie. The Raiders were so upset by the call that they checked out for the rest of the game, and in overtime, two Raiders defensive backs totally blew a tackle in the flat that let the Patriot's receiver run 20 yards downfield and almost into field goal range. On that drive, the Raiders couldn't stop the Patriots on 3rd-and-5, 3rd-and-7, 4th-and-4,and 3rd-and-5. That's why they lost the game. ... Even if the call against the Raiders was a bad call, you don't deserve to be the champions if you let a bad call beat you. Referees are people, people make mistakes, and it's your responsibility to not let those calls decide the game.

    posted by kirkaracha at 03:04 PM on October 14

    The crux of my disagreement with you, justgary, is that you're calling the third-strike play an ump's mistake and I'm calling it Paul's mistake. You're putting the entire mistake on the player, leaving the ump completely out. If that were the case, I'd agree with you. But in my eyes (and most) the ump at least had a part in the problem. In fact, now that the ump has finally come out and admitted he should have handled it differently, I'd say calling it all paul's mistake is pretty much ruled out. A trapped or nearly-trapped ball in the outfield is raised immediately to sell the out. That's instinctive on the part of players. In fact, whenever a player doesn't raise the ball to sell it, the reaction I have is that it was a trap. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul had the same "wait a sec..." change of direction that AJ did; the problem was that if Paul did, it was too late, because he'd already taken himself out of the play by rolling the ball onto the field. Again, I couldn't disagree more (and again with fraz also). Holding the ball up happens most in the outfield to prove you have the ball, since the ump is far away from the play. And trapped or no trap, players do it. But not because it proves they didn't trap it, because it doesn't. It shows possession of the ball. That's it. The catcher obviously had possession of the ball. So holding it isn't needed. If an ump is sold on a trap not happening because you hold up the ball, the ump is an idiot, again, because it proves nothing. If the ump needs a 'second' to make up his mind, again, he needs a new job. Then you've had some piss-poor coaches. I'll email you my resume if you want fraze, but if you knew my coaching you wouldn't say that. Here's what you said: Hell, most ballplayers are taught to run toward first on a third strike no matter what, because you never know what the skill level of the catcher or the umpire's call will be. No matter what. You changed it to "ball in the dirt" in your next comment, which I agree with. Take out "ball in the dirt" and it was nonsense. Maybe you misspoke. MLB's chief of umpires should have discussed the situation in private with the crew and then issued a statement. I agree, but not for the same reasons. The discussion was a joke. He admitted no mistake at the time, not even a hesitation that something could have been done differently. Might as well have issued a statement. The umps didn't let Ozuna steal second, and the umps didn't give up the double to Crede. I still don't get your logic kirk. It didn't give the game away, but it was a huge play. What if there were two blown calls in a row, would then the game have been given away? Three? If the call isn't made none of that happens. It seems to me just an excuse to overlook blown calls. No one play in any game makes the outcome. It doesn't mean some don't have a bigger impact, and when the impact includes an umpire call, it should be examined. Here's the thing. I agree that the catcher should have thrown to first. I also understand why he didn't. And I feel the fact that he didn't shows more than anything that he caught the ball cleanly. That doesn't mean that the ump and his decision shouldn't be examined. If you don't believe the ump made a mistake for calling the ball trapped (and still he hasn't said why he thought it was trapped) then the ump himself has confirmed that he should have handled the calling differently. I wont go as far as some nutty writers, but I do think it put a question mark on a game that probably would have ended with a walk off home run. We want a manager to end a game saying how well his team played, not "I'd rather be lucky than good". Nope. It means exactly what I think it does and you are pretty much the main purveyor of said grapes. I'm discussing a very big play in a very big game on a sports site based on discussion. If you think that's sour grapes, well, you're an idiot. Here's what you can do, don't read this thread. Problem solved.

    posted by justgary at 03:29 PM on October 14

    Scioscia should have put the rally monkey in attack-to-kill mode, released him and kicked back with a beer and watch the carnage.

    posted by Desert Dog at 03:42 PM on October 14

    I'm discussing a very big play in a very big game on a sports site based on discussion. If you think that's sour grapes, well, you're an idiot. Here's what you can do, don't read this thread. Problem solved. Ah, the insult, the last refuge of the witless. Thanks for solving my problem, perhaps now you can work on yours?

    posted by sic at 03:56 PM on October 14

    Ah, the insult, the last refuge of the witless. Thanks for solving my problem, perhaps now you can work on yours? My problem is someone coming into the discussion, adding nothing, and trying to nullify comments by simply labeling them sour grapes. Disagree with me fine, I could be wrong. But if you're just going to add noise, why bother.

    posted by justgary at 05:21 PM on October 14

    I'm not saying we should overlook blown calls, I'm saying they're part of sports, and championship-level teams either don't put themselves in a position where a blown call could cost them the game, or they bounce back from a blown call and win anyway. The Angels' own manager said they didn't play well enough to win. If they'd scored more runs before the call, it wouldn't have mattered. There are several things they could've done after the call. They could've picked the runner off first. They could've thrown him out when he stole second. They let the winning run steal second in a 1-1 game. In fact, why weren't they holding him on first? They could've struck the batter out, or tried to get him to hit a ground ball. Why did he even see a pitch that he could hit off the wall? It was the Angels' play before and after the call that cost them the game. I agree that the catcher should have thrown to first. I also understand why he didn't. And I feel the fact that he didn't shows more than anything that he caught the ball cleanly. But the game isn't based on the catcher's feelings, it's based on the umpire's calls, right or wrong. If you don't believe the ump made a mistake for calling the ball trapped (and still he hasn't said why he thought it was trapped) then the ump himself has confirmed that he should have handled the calling differently. On Baseball Tonight, Harold Reynolds said the umpires sometimes go by the sound of the ball (or the ball and glove) hitting the ground. I've heard lots of people say the catcher caught the ball cleanly, but I haven't seen anything, even the super slo-mo closeup replays, that shows that. If I can't tell after repeated viewings of the replays, I can't blame the umpire too much for getting the call wrong (if he did) with the catcher's body and the glove in the way and the ball going 90 miles an hour. I agree he should've made a more decisive call. If he had, they probably would've gotten Pierzynski out by tagging him or throwing him out at first, and it would've gone into extra innings. But he didn't, and the Angels didn't bounce back from the bad call. My point is, it doesn't matter how there came to be a runner on first. Once that happened, they needed to deal with the situation as it existed instead of thinking about how the situation came about.

    posted by kirkaracha at 05:29 PM on October 14

    On Baseball Tonight, Harold Reynolds said the umpires sometimes go by the sound of the ball (or the ball and glove) hitting the ground. I wish he would have said something along those lines. Since they had the press conference it seems he would have taken the opportunity to do so. In fact, it was his silence regarding the topic that made me uncomfortable with his confidence behind the call. The 'sound' is what I would have thought he would use to explain the call, instead of commenting on the video, which I admit is pretty inconclusive. As you said, we can't even tell in super slo-mo what actually happened. Looking over the cacher's shoulder at a ball travelling 90 mph, it seems he would need a solid reason for that call in that situation. I'm saying they're part of sports, and championship-level teams either don't put themselves in a position where a blown call could cost them the game, or they bounce back from a blown call and win anyway. I agree. Chances are one of these teams will outclass the other over 7 games, and while the call may stay controversial, the series won't be.

    posted by justgary at 05:49 PM on October 14

    TSN ran a few previous calls by the same umpire on pitches that were low (but not in the dirt) and swung at for strike three during the game. In every case, he does the "point" and then "pump" motion, just like he did in the controversial call. The "point" indicated a strike three, the "pump" indicated an out. There was no difference in "mechanics" between this call and previous calls. It's the only indication every person on the field (except the home plate ump, catcher and batter) is going to have that the play is over. There is no way anyone else is going to hear him say "out" because of the crowd noise. It's why they invented the hand signals in the first place. For him to say the "point and pump" motion were different and should have indicated that the play was still "live" is just an excuse for him to cover his butt for his mistake. I'm still sticking to the "Jedi mind trick" reason...

    posted by grum@work at 07:43 PM on October 14

    In every case, he does the "point" and then "pump" motion, just like he did in the controversial call. The "point" indicated a strike three, the "pump" indicated an out. I wish I had seen that. For him to say the "point and pump" motion were different and should have indicated that the play was still "live" is just an excuse for him to cover his butt for his mistake. I'm still sticking to the "Jedi mind trick" reason... It's really the only thing that makes sense, isn't it? Scioscia said from the beginning that Eddings called the batter out, and somewhere along the time he ran to first he changed his mind. The interview with Eddings was immediately after the game and he admitted no wrong doing. He then had a little time to realize his mistake and issued a statement on that topic, while avoiding the trapping call entirely since no video gives a definite answer. At the very least Eddings has (hopefully) changed his 'motions' which would probably prevent what happened. A good reason to examine the call and not file it under 'mistakes happen'. Regardless of fault, preventing something similar is not a bad thing. At least the angel fans were well behaved.

    posted by justgary at 12:37 AM on October 15

    that the catcher of your (adopted) team blew it by not tagging the batter and that the White Sox (your adopted nemesis) Ahh sic, sorry, missed those little digs. Just so you know, and to save you the trouble of deciding when I'm posting 5000 words of 'sour grapes' on series where I have almost zero interest in either team: I want the angels to beat the white sox because I've seen the red sox end the angels season several times, plus I thought the pitcher/catcher high five during game 5 cheesy. I want the cardinals to beat the astros simply because clemens is the anti christ and causes blood to shoot out of my eyes. I then want the angels to beat the cardinals because I get tired of hearing how the cardinals play 'real' baseball which is the same thing their fans were saying last year when they folded like a deck of cards against boston. Now you'll know when I'm commenting because I love the game of baseball or when I'm spending an afternoon spouting sour grapes for teams i really couldn't care less for. You've got me all figured out. (I don't think you're an idiot, but I fail to see how you can't comprehend that you can root for a team and still remain objective.)

    posted by justgary at 12:49 PM on October 15

    Thanks grum I am glad to see someone else also saw the same kind of run down that I saw. The ump never changed a single thing in his mechanics when calling someone out on 3rd strikes throughout the entire game. The catcher had no way of knowing that play was still "live."

    posted by jojomfd1 at 07:31 PM on October 15

    Funnily enough, I got this screen cap from a site demanding that Eddings be fired. It looks to me like the ball was on the ground.

    posted by kirkaracha at 10:50 PM on October 15

    See, I look at that picture and see a caught ball. It looks to me like the bottom of the glove is seen below the ball. I see ball, glove, ground. Unless the ball is going straight down, I don't see it hitting the ground.

    posted by justgary at 12:20 AM on October 16

    I agree with justgary on that assessment. The ball has more forward than downward momentum, so the next "frame" would probably show the ball in the glove without having actually impacted the ground. That said, the real problem wasn't the actual path of the ball, but the call by the umpire.

    posted by grum@work at 12:53 PM on October 16

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