Drooling on the Pillow

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Eddings Missed A Pretty Good Game 

Saw the end of the Angels/White Sox game tonight when the home plate umpire pulled a Denkinger and jobbed the Angels.

I'm on record (over at 11th and Washington) as picking the Angels in five for the World Series, but I still have to root for the White Sox a little. 1917's a long time ago.

If you didn't see it the Sox had two men out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, two strikes on the batter. Escobar threw a sinker that the catcher picked off just before it hit the ground as the batter waved at it. For some reason the batter took off for first as the Angels were leaving the field and they called him safe. You knew as you were watching it you were seeing something that was going to leave a mark.

The home plate umpire, Doug Eddings, claimed that the ball hit the ground before it was caught and the other umpires backed him up. The truth was, none of them saw it or were in a position to see it and they were all wrong. It didn't hit the ground. Pinch runner steals second. Crede hits a double and the games over.

Okay, they made a mistake. But in the after game interview Mike Scioscia said that the umpire claimed that he never called the batter out. Well, I'm just one of a few million people that saw him do it. He called the strike with his right arm and then balled up his fist and called the batter out. Which means that he was out. Which means the catcher can roll the ball to the mound and we go on to the tenth.

Scioscia went on to say all the right things about how they hadn't done what they needed to do to win and that they shouldn't have let themselves be vulnerable to a bad call (although he didn't put it that baldly). And it's perfectly true that the umpire didn't cause the Angels to lose. But he did cause the White Sox to win and that boy is not going to be picking up any playoff money next year, you can bet on it.

Two things I like about Scioscia. First he won't have anything to do with the awful, horrible, excreable Fox 'in-game' interviews where the idiots in the booth talk to the managers about absolutely nothing during the game. He sends his pitching coach out for that. Secondly, despite this evenings events and despite the fact that he was clearly very angry, when he was asked if he would be in favor of some sort of instant replay he was emphatic that it had no place in baseball.

The last time a baseball team broke my heart was 1992 and baseball doesn't mean to me what it once did. Still, I love the game and follow it, but the strikes, the money, the jerks, the drugs, all of them have taken chunks out of my love for baseball. But I would be disappointed if they brought in instant replay. What happened tonight was part of the game and another part is rolling with it.
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