Posted at 9:30 AM on October 13, 2005
by Ben Tesch
The White Sox won 2-1 last night, but that doesn't even begin to explain the odd play that set up the opportunity to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Did the ball hit the dirt? Did the umpire say there was no catch, thus still making the play live? Is AJ too sneaky for his own good? Did the umpires secretly wish they would have just got one more out so that it wouldn't later blow up monstrously in their faces?
Based on what I saw and then later heard in the press conferences, the umps blew the call, and knew they blew it when they started getting pressured on it. (Note: Any time you get answered a tough question, and your boss answers for you and there is an uncomfortable pause afterwards, it is most likely a big fat lie.)
A.J. sure gets the most of opportunities...The call may have been a mistake, but I talked to a local umpire today and umpires will yell "Strike 3, You're out!" on any call where there could be a question. No one heard the you're out part, and AJ got to be a pain in the neck again...you have to be missing this guy on the Twins.
I didn't think the umpires were uncomfortable with the questions. They do not like being the story. Baseball is a game of fractions of an inch and fractions of a nanosecond. It makes for a great game.
And it doesn't fall into the Denkinger category of bad calls, and they play again tomorrow. What a great game!
AJ was as out as slap-happy A-Rod was in LAST year's ALCS. They eventually did rule A-Rod out last year, but didn't allow Jeter to advance at all, which turned a good play call into another bone-headed oops.
It's important to note, I think, that there are hundereds and hundreds of calls a game, and that the bulk of them are right.
But the umpire called AJ out on Wednesday night, and he was out. In my mind, there's no way you should be able to go back and change that.