By now, at least 36 hours later, you’ve seen the replay a dozen times; you’ve listened to commentators agree and disagree on every aspect; and you’ve interrupted at least one conversation at the water cooler to put your two cents in: did he catch strike three or not? By the time my head hit the pillow on the night of Game 2 between the Angels and White Sox, I had already become sick to my stomach over the outcome, and had heard enough. And yet, here at the Sports Frappe, we’ve been inundated with requests for our take on this controversy. As always, we give the Frappers what they want.
I’ve watched Jim Rome tell me that the ball was definitely caught, no questions asked. I’ve listened to John Kruk explain that a veteran catcher would’ve tagged Pierzynski out regardless of whether he caught it or not. I’ve read blogs by Angels’ fans calling for the head of the home plate umpire on a platter; I’ve sifted through a blog out of Wayne’s World country, (Aurora, Illinois) claiming that expert video analysis proves the ball hit the dirt.
First of all, let’s outline what is not the issue. The issue is not whether or not Josh Paul caught strike 3 cleanly. This would assume that baseball operates on an objective reality that we can all agree upon, which it doesn’t. Baseball operates on what the umpires see, or think they see. There is no instant replay like the NFL, and there probably never will be. Think about it, have you ever received a clear definition of where exactly “the strike zone” is? We all wait for the ump to make a call, and we react based on that.
But what about when the umpire doesn’t make any call? That’s really what this controversy is about. Even the infamous Doug Eddings admits to this, stating: “I should have either said, ‘No catch,’ or, if I did have a catch, that he was out. Which I never said: ‘He’s out.'” As far as I know, there’s nothing in the baseball rule book for what to do when the umpire just plain doesn’t make a call. It would be like playing Bingo with a bunch of senior citizens, but the guy pulling the numbers decides to just keep that information to himself instead of calling it over the cheap intercom system. Can you imagine the bedlam that would break out? I guarantee it would be bigger than Scioscia’s argument Wednesday night.
But that discussion was for yesterday, today is a day to move forward. For you Angel-fans reading this, here are the reasons we should not be upset over Game 2 anymore.
- First of all, we didn’t have a win stolen from us. The ball game was tied, and as long as Mark Buehrle (a.k.a. guy from the O.C.) was pitching, the Angels would not have taken the lead. From the looks of things, this guy was ready to go all 18 innings. (Side note: this is a reason that Sox fans should be upset, you were robbed of seeing Buehrle continue his masterful performance.) The Halos would have wasted their entire bullpen, while the already rested White Sox got only more rest.
- What more instigation does a team need for the rest of the series, especially going back to Anaheim? I get chills thinking about how loud the crowd is going to be tonight. There is nothing better than something like this to motivate your squad early in the series. Especially now that the Angels have finally had a travel day to rest up, and will surely come out firing on all cylinders.
So that’s the Frappe’s take on it. And one last thing: there was nothing wrong with my hat, so don’t even try to blame this whole fiasco on me and my head wear.