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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Eddings Blows It

I'm sure everybody else will weigh in on this so I suppose I will too.

To me, clearly Doug Eddings blew the call. From looking at the replays it would seem that Josh Paul caught the ball cleanly and Eddings made a strike three call by extending his right arm. Then when Paul rolled the ball back to the pitcher he clearly signaled that A.J. Pierzynski was out by pumping his right fist. Apparently, he didn't say anything at all either way and Paul contends that most umps will verbally signal that there was "no catch".

The smoking gun that shows Eddings was wrong was Aaron Rowand's at bat just prior to this play. Rowand swung at a ball low and away and Paul blocked it. Eddings extended his arm to make the strike three call and then kept it extended until Paul tagged Rowand and only then did he pump his fist to signal strike three.

I listened to the umpires press conference after the game and the questioners were terrible and never called Eddings on the fact that he called Pierzynski out at the plate. Eddings said that was his typical strike three "mechanic" but wouldn't admit to calling him out. The crew chielf was down the line and so on the field and at the press conference he was simply covering for Eddings. Third base umpire Ed Rapuano also didn't appear to see anything either way and so could not offer any assistance.

It's too bad that Eddings couldn't admit he was at least confused. Clearly to me, unless another umpire over rules the call through an appeal, the call on the field should stand, in this case the call that Pierzynski was out.


Dan Agonistes said...

I should also mention of course that what Pierzynski did was heads up (he was the victim of a play like this last year) and what Paul did was not so heads up.

Paul should have waited for a definitive signal either way.

unca said...

I think the larger and more troubling issue here is the apparent inconsistency of umpires in dealing with dropped third strikes. Common sense would dictate that yelling or not yelling, "ball not caught" should be a standardized procedure (all the umps should either call it or not call it) and not subject to an umpire's own "style." Put another way, who's responsibility is it to notice that the ball was not caught -- the batter's, the catcher's and/or the umpire's and how should this be indicated?