Is this the episode where Doug Eddings reveals that he is A.J. Pierzynski's father? Something's going on; and the Rays aren't happy about it. Take a look at this play in the 10th, where it appears that Pierzynski is tagged out in a rundown between second and third. But second base umpire Eddings rules interference on Rays third baseman Willy Aybar (!), and calls Pierzynski safe. Pierzynski was awarded third, and Alexei Ramirez then singled to give Chicago a 6-5 win, vaulting it into first place in the Central by a half game over Minnesota. It was Eddings of course who called the notorious dropped third strike in the 2005 AL championship series between the White Sox and Angels, in which Pierzynski scampered to first as the Angels were running off the field. Chicago went on to win that game as well. Jim Thome hit his 534th homer — tying Jimmie Foxx for 15th on the career list — and Carlos Quentin also homered for Chicago. Rocco Baldelli hit his second homer in three days and Carlos Pena gave Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead with a run-scoring double in the seventh. The second base umpire called interference on Rays third baseman Aybar, ruling that he bumped the runner after a throw toward second. Replays showed that Pierzynski initiated the contact, hitting Aybar with his left elbow before comically falling to the ground. And once again a referee is fooled by a dive.
"As a runner, you're allowed to do that,'' third-base umpire Ted Barrett said. "What Doug ruled at second base was, even though A.J. did kind of stick his arm out to make contact, Aybar was still in his way. So A.J., if he would have turned, he wouldn't have been able to continue on to third. So after making the throw, Aybar is no longer in the act of fielding and he can't obstruct the runner, which is what Doug ruled happened. And in a rundown, even though A.J. was going back to second, the rule of obstruction during a rundown is he gets his next advanced base and that's why he was rewarded third base."
I'm looking atthe replay agin as I write this, and there's just no way; Pierzynski should not only be called out, but suspended three games for having the effrontery to even try that. Tampa Bay is 4 1/2 games head of Boston in the East.