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Friday, October 14, 2005

MOVING ON
One quick little last thing on Eddingsgate … Steve Palermo and Mike Port, both MLB officials in charge of umpiring (Palermo, of course, is a former umpire) allege that Eddings was in the right. This quote from Mike Port, a former Angel GM is ... well, check it out:
Summarily, Doug Eddings did nothing wrong. He gave the same signal for all swinging strikes. If the question is, “Did he call Pierzynski out on strikes?” The answer is no. He was indicating the batter swung at the pitch.
Um, dude, “Doug Eddings did nothing wrong” and “He gave the same signal for all swinging strikes” are mutually exclusive, in this case. The fact that he gave the same signal he did for all swinging third strikes that did not hit the ground is what led everyone on the Angel defense to not make a play on the rolling ball!

Anyway, I don’t expect Major League Baseball to get it right, because I expect nothing of Major League Baseball. Any mechanism that says Eddings is one of the twelve best umpires in baseball is so deeply flawed (see Josh’s links to various Eddings controversies here -- and, quite frankly, his miss of the catcher’s interference call on April 8 is sufficient for me) that relying on the people in charge to admit wrongdoing is asking too much. Fans have access to video of the man, we all know he signaled an out, and if MLB officials want to go all 1984 on us (OUT IS SAFE), that’s fine with me. Mike Port is not the ultimate arbiter of truth.

Anyway, the time has come for the Angels to move on, and I will follow suit. I have no doubt that Mike Scioscia will have the team focused on the task at hand. This is a team that has dealt with adversity before, both self-inflicted (K-Rod dropping the throw from the catcher) and, yes, inflicted by umpires (Larry Young lying about Orlando Cabrera not tagging up on a foul fly).

What’s more, there’s a lot of good that came out of our trip to Chicago. Remember, we came into Seitztown on a brutal travel schedule, with our rotation not set, with our bullpen tired, and faced a rested team coming off a great season and a dominant divisional series. And, in the second game, we sent out a pitcher who had thrown two innings in two weeks and had suffered from a debilitating case of strep throat.

What happened? A 3-2 win on Monday, and a 1-1 tie through nine on Tuesday. In addition, neither run the ChiSox scored in Game 2 was an earned run. The Angel pitchers have kept a tight leash on the Chicago offense.

Of course, you can also say that the White Sox pitchers have adequately subdued the Angels, and Mark Buehrle did pitch a marvelous game. This series has started off as the tight, pitching-and-defense match-up it promised to be.

But the split in Chicago is, I think, a great result for the Angels, especially given the circumstances. We get three games in Los Angeles of Anaheim to set the tone for the rest of the series; it’s now a best-of-five in which we have home-field advantage. Even if the Angels keep doing what they have been, they should be in good shape. But if The Legs and Vlad can warm up their bats, our Lads will be even better off ...

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