A batter is out when: (b) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher; "Legally caught" means in the catcher's glove before the ball touches the ground.

(b): The batter becomes a runner when the third strike called by the umpire is not caught … When a batter becomes a base runner on a third strike not caught by the catcher and starts for the dugout, or his position, and then realizes his situation and then attempts to reach first base, he is not out unless he or first base is tagged before he reaches first base

Alright, listen. I had the good fortune of being at this game, albeit not exactly right behind home plate.


  • Escobar threw a nasty-ass splitter
  • Pierzynski swung and missed
  • The ball hit the ground and was trapped by catcher Josh Paul
  • The umpire put his right arm up to indicate "strike 3"
  • Pierzynski took a step toward the dugout
  • Being a catcher, he realized he hadn't been tagged and ran for 1st base
  • Paul, misinterpreting the "strike 3" signal as "Out", dropped the ball and left the field

    In short, the umpire made the right decision but the wrong signal. He interpreted the rule correctly – on a 3rd strike that hits the ground, a tag is required – but his arm signal was unclear. The ump insists that he always uses that motion for "strike 3" and a different one (pulling his arm toward his body) for "out". So I feel bad for the Angels – I initially thought the ump had signalled "out" myself, and I can see how it was confusing.


    However, the media are neglecting to mention that in the second inning Aaron Rowand was called out at home attempting to score on an errant throw after a triple. Replays clearly show that the ump – the very same home plate ump – blew the call. He was safe. The throw beat him, but the tag didn't. So absent that blown call in the Angels' favor, the Sox wouldn't even have been batting in the 9th. Luck giveth and taketh away.

    We'll return to more talk about James Dobson and sex dolls soon, I promise.

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  • 2 Responses to “DITKA. SAUSAGE. DITKA.”

    1. mike Says:

      the Rowand play (with the home plate run on the errant throw) was wonderful. Did the crowd almost rebel when that bad call was made?

      I imagine LA's first base coach was at least carrying a stun gun, if not an assault rifle.

    2. Ed Says:

      The play was close enough that we couldn't be sure Rowand was safe. Replay shows he was.

      My exact quote to my dad was, as the umpires debated changing their call and declaring Pierzynski out, "If they take him off first, this is going to turn into a riot pretty quickly."

      That poor 1st base coach and 1st base umpire. Alsip would have descended on them like flies.