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Konerko, Posednik and Chicago’s Post Season Umps Keep the Astros Down
Sunday, October 23, 2005
"I'd like to thank the home plate ump for this opportunity..."

The ghosts of the 1919 Black Sox must be working overtime to atone for their past transgressions, blinding the home plate umps in not one but two key calls this post season. First there was the ball deemed “dropped” in game two of the ALCS vs. the Angels, which allowed Pierzynski to take first and for the inning to continue, giving Chicago the opportunity to knock in the winning run – which they did. Of course, at every possibly angle other than the ump’s, it was clear that the ball did not hit the dirt before landing in the catchers glove. Bitch as they may, managers find that very few calls are debatable after the umps lay down their figurative gavels. After tonight, Scioscia may want to give Garner a call, or, on second though, a condolence card – read on:

By the bottom of the seventh, the Astros were on top 4-2, thanks in part to a nice homer by Ensberg. Garner pulled Pettitte, who had really pitched quite nicely (making the end of this story all the more saddening), and replaced him with Wheeler. Wheeler gave up a double to Uribe and a walk to Iguchi before facing Jermaine Dye, who showed his muscle last night with a solo shot. Dye worked the count to a 3-2 when an inside pitch appeared to come close to hitting him. Notice that I never said it actually hit him. This, of course, is because it did not hit him. Upon replay of the pitch, it is clear from any angle that the ball simply hit Dye’s bat - - in other words, a foul ball. The home plate umpire, however, signaled that Dye had been hit and awarded him first base.

With the bases loaded, Wheeler surrendered the mound to Qualls. Now this is a truly unfortunate situation for a pitcher to inherit in any game, much less the World Series, much less against Konerko. And after the frustration of the call on Wheeler moments before, I’m going to presume that composure was the last thing on Qualls’ brain. I don’t think there was a simple ‘out’ for the Astros at this point, and Konerko knew it as well, positively pouncing on the very first ball Qualls served up. Long story short – Konerko goes yard for a grand salami, effectively putting his team on top and crushing poor Pettitte, who sat stone-faced on the bench, simultaneously.

I assumed the drama would end there. After all, it was the bottom of the seventh, the Sox were up, and they still had Jenks in the pen. The Astros had a smidge more gas left in the tank, though, and managed to tie it up using Jenks’ sub-par stuff to their advantage before Lidge blew it in the bottom of the ninth. Podsednik, Mr. Zero Home Runs in the Regular Season, served up a big “L” to Lidge (the “L” is for “loss”, not for “Lidge”, that would just be silly) with a huge game-winning homer that made all those hours in the rain worthwhile…for his team, anyway. The Astros weren’t pleased, I’m sure.

Bottom line? Both of these teams play hard, their pitching is very comparable, and they are even well-matched defensively. So why is Houston having a hard time getting the better of Chicago? When it comes down to it, the Sox are just that much more clutch, they have that much more heart, and, apparently, have that much more luck to go all the way.

"What the heck did I just do?! Oh...a home run...I've heard of those before..."
posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, October 23, 2005  
  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger Mets Guy in Michigan said…

    Cool blog, Yankees Chick! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Of course, with your talent, you should renounce your Yankee affiliation and join us in the Mets camp!

  • At 8:39 AM, Blogger Darth Marc said…

    Nice work Yankee Chick,

    But you forgot the Finley/Pierzynski interference play in the ALCS. Another pivotal play the umps mucked up in these playoffs. The officiating this season has just been so inconsistent this year. More than any other in recent memory.

    This series does not come back to Chicago...

  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Yankees Chick said…

    dave, there is no renouncing when you love a team. you must stick with them in good times and in bad (like a bad, dysfunctional marraige). however, I don't have any real hatred towards the mets. they are quite exciting to watch these days w/ wright, reyes and jacobs....and darth, you are right, i forgot the mention that. unbelievable officiating...

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous metsrtehsux0r said…

    This is great. I don't even have to watch the games. I can just wait until the next morning and there's a blog that covered all the important parts of it.

    Okay, so I did watch the game. I had to use my DVR to rewind it when Pods hit one out. I didn't think he had it in him. There will be a steroids investigation now, I'm sure. :)

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger jabair said…

    Seriously though.. how did you end up becoming a yankees fan?

  • At 2:17 PM, Blogger Yankees Chick said…

    perhaps i should do a post about that, jabair. basically, my dad grew up in the 50's when the yanks were 'it'. he loved mickey mantle and continued to follow them throughout his life. there are 6 kids in my family....all girls! my poor dad was always watching baseball alone, so I used to watch with him. I got hooked from a young age and never looked back....

  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger jabair said…

    i can respect that!!!!

    you have a family history with the team.

    I've been a mets fan for over 20 years now and im a little jaded because of my experience with yankees fans...

    i cant help but be skeptical when everybody and their grandma claims to be a yankees fan

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