Kill the Umpire!
When pinch runner Pablo Ozuna crossed the plate to win Game 2 of the ALCS for the Chicago White Sox, losing pitcher Kelvim Escobar was charged with the run.However, it was unearned. In more ways than one.
Home plate umpire Doug “Mr. Magoo” Eddings handed the White Sox an extra out after making the incorrect call on strike three to A.J. Pierzynski after he swung and missed, closing his fist for a strike, not an out.
He remained silent after the call, leading everyone but Pierzynski to believe the inning was over, but the White Sox catcher wisely hustled over to first on the odd chance that the ball had hit the dirt and Eddings had forgotten to declare “No Catch.”
Well, Eddings did make the wrong call. Just not the right wrong call. The ball hit the dirt and the inning was over, but Eddings not only believed the ball had gotten away from Angels catcher Josh Paul but he failed to qualify his closed fist as just strike three but not an out, considering he made the same exact call a few times earlier that day when other players had struck out.
Ignoring the fact that the closed fist debacle has some confusion to it that could’ve gone either way, mistakenly declaring a ball to be in the dirt when it was clearly a legitimate strikeout is completely unacceptable. Referrees and umpires are often given a bad reputation because most don’t realize their job is one of complete masochism. In the end, somebody will hate you for whichever call you make, but it’s never quite this bad.
The aftermath of the blown call will be debated for a while, but it all spawns from a terrible mistake which Eddings should be held accountable for.
Potential punishments? LAist says: cleaning Hunter Wendelstedt’s socks after every day game.
Entry by Alex Delanian