Josh’s Boner

Let me begin by stating this is not a review of Jeff Stryker’s newest flick, but instead a breakdown of game 2 of the White Sox/Angels series. When I was just a tyke, I can remember reading about the Bill Buckner’s of their time, the passed ball by Mickey Owen and Fred Merkle’s baserunning Boner. Well add Josh Paul to this dubious list. As a White Sox fan, I don’t take great pleasure in this, as Paul played for the Sox parts of 5 different seasons. He’s a scrappy player, who happened to grow up in Chicago, was White Sox fan as a child and just as importantly to Sox fans, hated the Cubs. A very sad irony, as I’m guessing Paul, prior to this series, considered the match-up, the best scenario he could ask for.

Breaking down the play, I felt Tim McCarver was a little too definitive in declaring Paul caught the ball. I don’t know if the home plate umpire made the right call or not, but it was close and in the NFL world of replay, I’m not sure you would have reversed it, because conclusive evidence is questionable. Earlier in the broadcast, McCarver had mentioned Paul was working on a book on calling a game, interviewing past and present catchers on their strategic moves. I would hazard to guess that McCarver was interviewed by Paul and feels some infinity for a current player who’s respectful, instead of acting like, oh, someone like Deion Sanders. I feel badly for Paul, but he made a mistake by not making sure the out was made. I hope Josh Paul has gotten the advance on his upcoming book, because if he hasn’t, it might be difficult to sell a strategy book by him at this point. He should have a really interesting epilogue, though.

Someone who should face some questions is Mike Scioscia. After pulling Jose Molina for a baserunner, Sciosia chose not to move his brother, Benji over from his DH spot, instead inserting Paul. Why I question this decsion is that Escobar is not good at holding on runners and either Molina gave the Angels the best chance to keep the White Sox from being able to steal a base. Even if you discount that factor, when Escobar had pinch runner Pablo Ozuna on first, this was the time Scioscia should have brought in a new pitcher, as the Escobar/Paul battery was like putting Ozuna on second. The White Sox knew this, as Crede waited on the first two pitches, so Osuna could get in scoring position. This almost backfired, as Escobar threw two strikes to begin the at bat.

Now to Doug Eddings and his Denkinger future. The guy is a young ump and all I can say is that he might want to go under an assumed name when he visits Anaheim. Also, Doug, I would make sure to wear your mask and chest protector, even when you’re working 1st base. Let me mention that earlier in the game, Eddings made the correct call on a very close play at home plate, calling Aaron Rowand out. While not as big of a play, as the Escobar 3rd strike, Eddings enthusiastically rang Paul Konerko up on a check swing that at the least seemed to deserve to be called by the 3rd base umpire on an appeal. It was a tough night for Doug. In the press conference following the game, Eddings looked like Bambi staring down an oncoming 18-wheeler. Wisely, 2 veteran umpires, who behaved like they were Johnny Cochran and Robert Shapiro, trying to protect their client, accompanied young Doug during the questioning.

Now let’s get to the final person involved, A.J. Pierzynski. If you were going to ask, what player on either team would be the protagonist in a controversial play, it would have to be Anthony John. Part Eddie Haskell, part Dennis the Menace, Pierzynski just might be the ultimate love him if he’s on your team, hate him if he’s not player in all of Major League Baseball. I can’t tell you the pleasure I would have had, if the White Sox would have been playing the Twins in the 2002 playoffs and the Twins’ Pierzynksi would have “trapped” the ball and not tagged White Sox’s batter Josh Paul, who would have run to first base, keeping the game alive. Unfortunately, it happened a bit differently.

I’m sure if I was reading this piece, I would be questioning the author’s ability to be like Fox News, you know, FAIR AND BALANCED. Well, let me begin by saying, I’ve waited a long time to have a walk off hitting moment, in a playoff game. Well, Crede’s double should have been a triumphant moment, but instead I felt more muted in my reaction than any other time the White Sox have done something of a similar fashion. I hope the series is won by the White Sox in 5 or at the most 6 games, as I don’t want Josh Paul to be seen as the new Scott Norwood. On the other hand, if this is the only way the White Sox wind up in the World Series, I’m desperate enough to throw Josh under the team’s charter bus.

So it’s been mentioned that the White Sox don’t have the curse of the Bambino or some tavern’s billy goat, but let’s not kid ourselves, the Black Sox scandal is the most infamous incident in baseball history. A team that had won a championship just 2 years before throws the 1919 World Series, because of being unfairly treated by their owner, Charles Comiskey. No goat being excluded from attending a game, no player who is sold to your biggest rival to finance a Broadway show can match the overall sleaze factor of having members of your team purposedly lose World Series games. I will say that no matter if you believe Eddings blew the call or Paul was the one with the brain cramp, we can all agree the White Sox received a major gift. (Remember the White Sox won a game where they managed no earned runs.) So off to Anaheim, a place that has been far from being a Disneyland for the White Sox. No Colon, a Vlad missing his Implaer bat, Washburn with a strep-throat induced washboard stomach, plus now the Angels have to fight more than just fatigue, but the mental conflict that a game was given to their opponent.

Things look good for the White Sox, but knowing the past, I’m just waiting for a Bartman from the O. C., who swings a rally monkey over the railing, costing Scott Posednik a pennant cinching catch. Having a reprieve, I have nightmares of Garret Anderson hitting a 3-run homer to send it to a game 7. Game 7 is not something a baseball team from Chicago can be comfortable with. Sure this sounds like the hallucinogenic ranting of a man who has no confidence in his team. Well, welcome to the insecure world of the White Sox fan. We’re Number 2! We’re Number 2! Until the White Sox make the final out of the World Series, I can think nothing more.

PLEASE NOTE: Make sure to read Will Carroll’s excellent piece below on how the off-season shakes out for most team’s in MLB.

33 thoughts on “Josh’s Boner

  1. 1.  Scott, Scott, Scott…

    Eddings signalled “out”. Not, “swinging third strike, ball still live.” Paul “knew” he had caught the ball (which replay certainly indicates was the case, even if it isn’t 100% conclusive), AJ started walking back to the dugout, and the ump GAVE A FIST PUMP.

    Inning over.

    What, exactly, was Josh’s boner? Not realizing that the home plate ump would panic and reverse his call if AJ suddenly broke for first?

    You’re trying to shift blame from this off Eddings, and onto a player on the field so that the win feels less tainted. It ain’t gonna work. If Eddings doesn’t pump his fist, the Angels fielders still had plenty of time to get the ball and throw it to first, even if Paul still tosses the ball towards the mound by mistake. That fist pump (or rather, the failure to stand by it) is the mistake — not the reactions stemming from it.

    The names you should be referencing here are Denkinger and Garcia/Maier, not Buckner and Merkle.

  2. 2.  Paul didn’t know about the ump’s signal but was sure he caught the ball. I’m sure the pitcher and 1B, however, probably saw the out call, otherwise would have called for Paul to toss the ball to 1st. The umpire choked, plain and simple. You cannot make the out call then simply, what, forget or ignore the fact that you made it.

    He choked on a really big stage. He should lose his job for that. I don’t have a rooting interest in this series, I’m just stating a fact – you choke and essentially reverse outcome of a playoff game- grounds for dismissal.

  3. 3.  I agree it will go down as Josh’s boner but it should be called Doug’s boner. Eddings clearly signald twice, once for strike three and once for the out. Then when Pierzynski turned around and started running to first, he had second thoughts. Problem was, he had already indicated the batter was out. Hey that’s baseball. We fans take bad umpiring as part of the game. What bothered me was the self serving interview after the game. Hey, how about standing up and admitting you made a mistake? THat would be novel.
    Mike, I love the Johhny Cochrane Robert Shapiro reference. Very astute.

  4. 4.  Oh I did mean to mention…call him a jerk, call him what you will. AJ’s play was smart smart smart. A lot of players wouldn’t have thought to do that. Considering all the facts, it was done totally on his own, since there was no call, no loose ball, etc.

  5. 5.  Didn’t I see the second base umpire also blow a call, when a White Sock was going to second and was clearly safe – tagged after his whole foot and ankle had touched the bag – but got called out?

    I was kinda dozing at the time, so I don’t remember when it happened, or the context – would it have changed anything?

  6. 6.  I’m pulling for the Angels, not the Sox. But this was Josh’s mistake. You’re the catcher, you’ve caught the ball but only a centimeter off the ground, on strike three, what do you do? You tag the batter, just for insurance. There is no reason not to do this. The umpire might have blown the call–I even saw him gesturing to AJ to go ahead, run, kid, that way, toward first–but umpires blow calls all the time. Just before that moment, however, Josh Paul could’ve ended any debate by just taking the ball in his hand and brushing it against AJ’s uniform. Inning over, no matter what a dumb umpire might think.

  7. 7.  I’ll say 99% on the umpire and 1% on Paul. I disagree with the centimeter comment above. The catcher clearly caught the ball before it hit the ground. It’s a shame the game ended the way it did.

    However, Pierzynsky made a heads-up play (nothing to lose in any event), and Crede came through against a pitcher that had dominated the Sox. I don’t have much sympathy for the Angels anyway as their one-run strategies and playing Erstad over Kotchman are costing them runs and allowing the umpires to have more impact on the game.

    Bad calls happen. The guy shouldn’t lose his job. But it would be nice to hear the other umpires at least admit that he made a bad mistake.

  8. 8.  This notion that the ball was clearly caught just shows that some of you must have better eyes than my own. If I had the benefit of instant replay, I would have went with the ball being caught, but I wouldn’t have felt really sure about it. In regards to making an out signal, I would guess most umpires would have made the same signal, because your instinct is to do that after a batter swings. Now we come down to the issue, should Eddings have verbalized “no out” or “ball hit the dirt”? I don’t know, but major league baseball should clarify that issue, so all players know what the protocol is.

    In regards to canning Eddings over this play, well that is ridiculous. I hope Mr. Blah Blah Blah doesn’t have the same code of conduct at this job, as this was not a clear decision. It was a tough call, which I’m not sure from Eddings angle, he should have been able to see. I would agree that he should have gotten some help from his crew, after the play finished. (This is something I have a problem with in regards to Eddings, as he was too quick to make calls without help, see Konerko at bat.)
    Having brought this up, I’m not sure one of his crew members had a lot better view and considering how close the call was, I really doubt I would have overturned it if I was asked for a second opinion.

    Let’s be really clear here, there has been a lot of Denkinger comparisons being thrown around here and I just don’t think the play was anywhere as clear of a decision, as that infamous play between the Royals/Cardinals. I’m not trying to protect the guy, as I have serious questions if Eddings should have been behind the plate during a playoff game, from the indecisive way he behaved at the press conference. What I do feel strongly about was this was not a slam dunk decision and that one of my favorite players (Josh Paul) made a big mistake and that manager Mike shouldn’t have had him behind the plate with Escobar, especially when there was a runner at first.

  9. 10.  Todd, thanks for the heads up, it’s a well-reasoned piece. David Pinto does good work. I also would recommend checking this piece out by Craig Burley, as I think it’s well done.
    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-call/

    The best one I’ve read yet is here, though.

    http://thejuice.baseballtoaster.com/archives/276458.html

    I thought Plaschke’s column in the LA Times was fair. Now Friend of The Juice’s Joe Sheehan’s breakdown in BP is a bit too reactionary for my tastes.

    By the way, I wrote my piece last night, without reading anyone else’s work first, as I didn’t want to have my thoughts clouded by other input. I’m sure some of you feel that I needed some clouds, as my own perspective was not of your liking.

  10. 11.  Like most of you, I’ve watched literally thousands of hours of baseball (maybe tens of thousands), and the called third strike in the dirt is commonplace. Sometimes the ball actually hits the dirt – sometimes it doesn’t. What’s clear to me is that just about every catcher I’ve ever watched seems trained to tag the batter if his glove swipes at the dirt, thereby removing any doubt. Paul didn’t do that. He tossed the ball to the mound when his training told him to tag the batter. 90% of burden goes to Paul – 10% to Eddings.

  11. 12.  Mr. Scott Long, I’m afraid I don’t have the high pressure of working in your chosen field where at worst a bad decision results in stoned silence, heckling or perhaps some folks heading for the door.

    I work in a huge $ business controls environment where a wrong choice either (a) costs the company tons of money or (b) can put us in legal non-compliance. Unfair as it may seem to you, the wrong decision will cost you your job. We’re not talking judgment calls here, we’re talking decisions which have quantifiable such results.

    Eddings made the OUT sign. He then ignored his own sign. It changed the course, and perhaps the outcome, of a crucial game. I see it as entirely parallel.

    Perhaps we see it differently because we have livelihoods that are as different as they can be.

  12. 13.  Oh and while we are discussing links, let me recommend these also.

    Juice reader, Cheat, writes the White Sox blog that seems to have the most active commentary. Good stuff as usual on his breakdowns of the all things Sox.
    http://southsidesox.com/story/2005/10/13/2811/9987

    Also check out my mysterious friend’s breakdown of the game as Southside Adventures. http://southsideadventures.blogspot.com/2005/10/all-tied-up.html

    Not only do you get an interesting perspective on last night’s game, but you also get to hear about how he’s been banging some MILF a lot lately. The newest news is that she likes to wear thigh high, spikey-heeled boots and that they are both sore from the pounding both took last night. Now that’s the way to celebrate a White Sox victory. Since I’m married, I instead ate a sandwich, watched a little TV, wrote my piece you see above and then went to bed.

  13. 14.  I really don’t agree that this is Paul’s fault. The ump did appear to panic. Which is too bad. Perhaps the Pale Hose would have won in the 10th or 12th. Who knows.

    As a resident of the Bay Area, I take slight exception to the comment – “Pierzynski just might be the ultimate love him if he’s on your team, hate him if he’s not player in all of Major League Baseball.” Most of his Giants teammates (and not just Reuter) pretty much hated AJ. Sure, he plays hard. But he plays dirty. Earlier in last night’s game, he tried to steal a strike three call while catching. I forget who was batting, but the player foul tipped the ball. It clearly hit the dirt. And AJ made a stink about it saying he had caught it. The ump grabbed the ball from him and saw the dirt on it (I guess) and the foul tip stood. In general, he’s kind of a scumbag.

  14. 15.  Yeah, I left out the Giants fan exception. I do know that Twins fans loved the guy, for the most part, and the same goes for White Sox fans.

    Ultimately, as much as we would all like to put the blame squarely on someone, I think this is one of those no-fault accidents, as everyone had a part in the play and there are so many variables that I don’t think you can truly blame anyone primarily for their actions. There are times in life, where things happen that don’t allow for a cut and dry judgement, even by us thursday morning quarterbacks. The way I look at this play, it will go down that way.

    By the way, if you know anything about Merkle’s boner, you realize that he was unduly cast as being completely at fault. (Keith Olbermann has weighed in on this subject.) I’m glad Paul is not seen like Merkle, though I do think he does have some responsibility in the case. Eddings shares some responsibility as well, though I don’t believe what he did is an error even close to the magnitude as Denkinger’s.

    Manager Mike is the one I keep coming back to as the one I think you can put the most direct blame on, as he did a shitty job of managing the last frame, especially after Ozuna was brought in as pinch runner. As Pierzynski mentioned in the post-game, he was upset with himself for swinging at the pitch, as he could have been sitting on first base with a walk. It seemed like the time after Pierzynski reached, righteously or not, Manager Mike decided to let the game play out, as almost a protest on the play. See my piece above about my thoughts on the battery of Paul/Escobar, especially with a runner at first.

  15. 16.  Yeah forgive me if I read this quickly, but you’all are nuts….Josh OBVIOUSLY missed the ball. It hit the ground.

    Those intellectually bankrupt Angels fans again….or did I mean GFWS fans…?

    cough

    Hey did anyone see that hanging curve to Crede?

    “Now FOJ Sheehan?” wassup w/that?

  16. 17.  “After pulling Jose Molina for a baserunner, Sciosia chose not to move his brother, Benji over from his DH spot, instead inserting Paul.”

    The only problem with this is that to move a guy from the DH spot onto the field, the Angels would have lost their ability to DH and thus the pitcher would have had to bat for the remainder of the game…

  17. 18.  “thus the pitcher would have had to bat for the remainder of the game… ”

    But had they done that, they would had Rivera, Kotchman and Paul to act as pinch hitters when the spot came up.

  18. 19.  Strougal, I thought there was a way, like a double switch, to work around that and when it was discussed last night, there was no mention of what you’re saying, but I’m guessing you have a lot better understanding of the rules than me, on this subject. (Please note that I’m not being sarcastic. I appreciate your input, as many baseball substitution rules go over my head.)

    Still, Manager Mike should have brought in another reliever at this point, as Escobar couldn’t keep anyone at first, especially if Paul was behind the dish.

  19. 20.  Scott, I’m still struggling with this “no fault scenario” concept. Eddings put up the OUT sign. It’s been well-documented already today that he doesn’t do this in other situations where the ball hits the ground, so this was an outlier. Then he directly contradicted this with his followup actions. How is that not deserving of blame?? How?

    He panicked and had no idea what to do, so he did nothing, which allowed the whole shoulda-been-nonplay play out. And my original point is you cannot have an umpire of a billion dollar industry who is given to panic.

  20. 21.  To answer the question asked in comment 20, I will paraphrase Josh Paul, who said that usually when a ball is in the dirt, the umpire will say something to that point. If you were to look at the past when a batter swings for the third strike, but the catcher doesn’t catch it, I’m guessing there is a decent percentage of umpires who give the out signal and then pull back. (Natural reaction.)

    Let me ask this. What if the ball without a doubt had touched the ground and Eddings would have made the same motion, do you think Pierzynski should have been automatically out? The same goes for when a base umpire calls someone initially out and then sees that the ball had come loose on the tag. Best case scenario is the umpire holds off on the out call, but it’s better for him to change his call and get it right.

    Ultimately, MLB needs to establish that if the home plate umpire determines the ball is loose on third strike pitch, he should have some verbal command to forewarn the catcher like loose ball or no out.

    I have no idea if Eddings initially thought the ball was trapped or not and I’m sure not excusing his indecisiveness during the game or at the press conference podium. What I am saying is that the notion that the ball was caught by Paul and not trapped is something that is questionable, as different photos of the play demonstrate. I don’t know much about Eddings as an umpire, but I do question, after watching him interviewed after the game and seeing that he’s been a MLB umpire for just 6 years, why he was behind the plate during a playoff game.
    He shouldn’t be fired, though, as it’s not conclusive that he made the wrong call and in regards to the out gesture, this happens enough that he shouldn’t be facing the level of scrutiny that he currently is.

  21. 22.  Excellent point on the dropped ball on the tag play.

    This whole thing sucks because this, for the most part, has been a crisply played series on both sides. And now everyone is focusing on this.

    I don’t like the way Eddings handled it, but I don’t agree with the criticism that he should not be in the game because he has “just 6 years” as an ump. If a guy is good and proven himself over 6 years (900+ games should give MLB more than enough data to make such an evaluation), than no problem having him in there.

    Joe Brinkman has been an ump for over 30 years and he is terrible (thankfully mlb has not let him work a world series in 10 years). Same with Froemming. Also no WS in 10 years.

    I was not too pleased to see Chuck Merriweather behind the plate last in Game 4 of the World Series – and I’m sure Derek Lowe and Jason Marquis were equally unsatisfied.

    I thought mlb was making postseason assignments based on merit, but obviously Merriweather getting the nod in the WS last year and Brinkman worked a division series last year, so it can be entirely merit based.

  22. 23.  I’m in the Blame Scioscia Camp, although for slightly different reasons than have been mentioned above. While A)having Paul, the third catcher, on the playoff roster in the first place, B)starting Bengie at DH(!), and C)not bringing in KRod at some point were all head-scratching moves that both my dad and I questioned while the game moved along, Scioscia’s greatest error was trying BY HIMSELF to convince Eddings that Paul had caught the ball, instead of immediately requesting that he get help. This caused a full fledged argument after which there was no way Rapuano would reverse the call. If Scioscia hustles out to Eddings, then calmly tells him that he wants the correct call and that Eddings should get Rapuano’s help, then I think things would’ve turned out differently. Those three to five minutes of arguing killed any chances of Eddings’s redemption.

    And finally, since my years as a pitcher in organized ball from ages 10-18 qualified me for Pitchers Union membership, I have a ton of sympathy for the umpire (Eddings) who called the fewest walks in all of MLB this past season.
    –David

  23. 24.  “I’m guessing there is a decent percentage of umpires who give the out signal and then pull back. (Natural reaction.)” You’re kidding right? Boy I want a handsome-paying job with a powerful union where I am allowed to get cite “natural reaction” as a defense to making a signal that can change the course of an important event.

    “Let me ask this. What if the ball without a doubt had touched the ground and Eddings would have made the same motion, do you think Pierzynski should have been automatically out?” Absolutely. Because his call affected the follow-on reactions. Escobar had every right to stroll off the mound after seeing that signal. If he does not see it, chances are he yells at Paul to throw to first. Again it changed the potential outcome.

    “The same goes for when a base umpire calls someone initially out and then sees that the ball had come loose on the tag. Best case scenario is the umpire holds off on the out call, but it’s better for him to change his call and get it right.” Different situation, because in this scenario the play does not have any logical continuation action and is corrected immediately. If the current scenario were indeed to have been parallel, Eddings would have had to demonstratively reverse himself, for instance by yelling “free ball” or something like that. He did not make any reversing motion until after an entire scene played out.

    “Ultimately, MLB needs to establish that if the home plate umpire determines the ball is loose on third strike pitch, he should have some verbal command to forewarn the catcher like loose ball or no out.” Exactly.

    “He shouldn’t be fired, though, as it’s not conclusive that he made the wrong call and in regards to the out gesture, this happens enough that he shouldn’t be facing the level of scrutiny that he currently is.” It is a conclusively wrong call because his own acttions arguably led the victimized team to react inappropriately in response to the ultimate call.

  24. 25.  From Yesterday’s LA Times:

    “Isn’t that standard procedure for a catcher after catching a low pitch in the dirt?” I asked Manager Mike Scioscia, a former catcher.

    Scioscia agreed, but tried to protect the team’s resident jokester, who has played in only 69 games in the last three seasons, by saying the umpire made a “definitive swing call,” and then a “definitive out call,” and “Josh saw that.”

    Well, no he didn’t. Paul told reporters all that took place behind his back. He said he never heard the umpire say anything, or for that matter do anything. He said it’s customary for an umpire to yell “no catch, no catch” if he doesn’t think the ball has been caught, and since he didn’t hear that, he started running off the field.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/angels/la-sp-simers13oct13,1,2650491.column?coll=la-headlines-sports-mlb-angels&ctrack=1&cset=true

  25. 26.  If you move the DH to a defensive position, then the pitcher bats in the slot of the player who was removed from the game.

    Therefore, it is easy to understand why Mike Scioscia might not want his pitcher to have to bat in a playoff game that was tied 1-1, in the 9th inning, on the road.

  26. 27.  As mentioned above, the pitcher’s spot could have been taken by a new pinch hitter. If you didn’t want to go this route, then as soon as Escobar gave up a hit, you should have brought in a pitcher who can hold runners better.

    Great point, Dead Teddy, I had thought about this issue, myself, but was so caught up in the other element that I didn’t even mention it. Thanks.

    Also, last night, Mark G. (too lazy to look up the spelling), had a ball that hit off his foot that the umpire missed and since the ball went fair they called it an out. This was an easier and definitely more correctable call to see, but it was missed. Now, because it happened early in the game it was mainly forgotten. Should this umpire be fired? I know the argument was that Eddings made an out signal, but there is a question if this is just a strike call or not, as MLB rule book is shaky in definition on the subject. Eddings call was close, the play last night was not. As I said before, the guy didn’t handle the situation well, but most of it was Josh Paul not tagging the runner, Manager Mike not protecting second from being stolen, and Escobar’s hanging splitter that made him the big goat.

    In regards to Eddings, I would agree somewhat that seniority shouldn’t be the key factor, but Eddings seemed as wishy-washy in the press conference interview, as he was behind the plate. My thought is why not take the top 3 guys behind the plate and rotate them, then have the rest of the umpires work their normal schedule, paying them all the same. We all know that some good umpires, are average behind the plate. Why not in the playoffs, reward the top rated ones. I’m really doubting Eddings, considering how he called Konerko out on a swing he held up on and then the AJ incident. Doesn’t mean the guy is incompetent or should be fired, just that he shouldn’t be in the situation at this point of his career.

  27. 28.  I would be all for having a rating system and using the best umps. For plate assignments this should not be a problem since QuesTec is in about half the parks and MLB has pretty good data. The only people that could have a problem with this would be the umpires and their union, to whom I say “tough luck.” And I like the idea of rotating in the other guys. Like the players, I’m sure every ump dreams of calling a WS, so for your less than stellar guys, give them a LF or RF assignment. Of course as soon as this happens a Terry Tata, who thankfully no longer is employed by MLB would be out there and we’d have another Jeff Maier call (even though this one was blown by Rich Garcia, a man of questionable negotiating strategy, but one of the best prepared and respected umpires in recent years.)

  28. 29.  Everyone I work with here said the ball WAS caught. Period. Paragraph. The signals Eddings used were at fault.

  29. 30.  Smed,
    Well if that’s the case, then I take back everything I’ve written. Smed’s work buddies will be the ultimate rulers over all things important. Many here might not know that this, but Smed does some important work studying astronomy at the Braille Institute of Science and Industry. How you and your work buddies discovered a new little dipper, despite being blind is one of the great feats in World History. My hat’s off to you, fine sir.

  30. 32.  The ball was clearly caught when looking at slow replays, but that’s not the argument nor is the fact that Eddings should be to blame if he called AJ out or safe. The argument is that he called him out and then backtracked, after it’s too late for the Angels to do anything about it.

    Paul obviously gets the 2nd portion of the blame, but not near the blame the ump gets on this one. I also respectfully disagree that Bengie should have switched over to catcher because:
    A) I love Molina, but if you watch them as much as I do you realize that Bengie does not throw many runners out unless aided by a pitchout.
    B) The rule that they would have lost the DH.
    C) Why would Paul even be on the postseason roster if you aren’t willing to put him in this situation? Remember they obviously think a lot of him as they have dropped guys like Jenks, Turnbow, and now Joel Peralta to keep guys like him on the roster.

    I’m a huge Angels fan (FargoAngelsofAnaheim guy for you guys in the 2nd fantasy league)and the Angels didn’t lose the series because of this play. The White Sox outplayed them plain and simple. Maybe this win gave them a spark, maybe it didn’t, but the Angels could only complain about this call now if the series would have went to 6 or 7 games.

    Good luck on your team finishing this off this year Scott, you have told any of us that would listen all year that they are the real deal and it appears you’re right. Hopefully the White Sox take this title home for the AL, and the style of play that the White Sox, Angels, etc play continues to win championships instead of the homer bashing/bad defensive styles that teams like the Red Sox/Yanks play.

    As I’m writing this, Pujols just hit his 3 run blast to take the lead and possibly send their series back to St Louey.

    PS – I think it’s funny and contradicting that so many fans/writers last year were ripping A-rod for the ‘unethical’ and ‘cheating’ play of trying to slap the ball out of the Red Sox player’s hand. This is very similar to what AJ did with the strike out and the catchers interference play. Neither one of them should apologize for this as you’re just trying to win, it’s the umps job to keep it fair. The difference is, Arod got caught. (the fact that Arod isn’t clutch or that he gets paid too much may be true, but are irrelevant in this matter)

  31. 33.  I can’t disagree with much you have to say here and I’m willing to back off some on the not putting Paul out there with a base stealing threat on, as the series showed, neither Molina was throwing well.

    I promise I will get to after the World Series, giving Fargo Angel the credit he deserves for being the most dominant fantasy baseball team in either league we had here.

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