Umpires postgame interview
Crew addresses ruling on Pierzynski's strikeout in the ninth
RICH RIEKER: I'm Rich Rieker, umpire supervisor. I brought with me Jerry Crawford and Doug Eddings.Q. Doug, the replay seemed to clearly show you called swing and then out. What was your interpretation? DOUG EDDINGS: My interpretation is that's my strike 3 mechanic, when it's a swinging strike. If you watch, that's what I do the whole entire game. Q. So you saw him drop the ball then? According to the replay he caught the ball and you said strike 3, so what did you see that allowed him to take first base? RICH RIEKER: I think Doug ruled that the ball was trapped. Q. Two questions if I may. One, have you seen the replays? And do you still believe that the ball was trapped? And two, Josh Paul was saying that customarily if there is a ball that's trapped or in the dirt, the umpire says "no catch, no catch," and he didn't hear that. Is that customary and did you say that? DOUG EDDINGS: I did not say "no catch." If you watch the replay, you do watch me ?? as I'm making the mechanic, I'm watching Josh Paul, so I'm seeing what he's going to do. I'm looking directly at him while I'm watching Josh Paul. That's when Pierzynski ran to first base. Q. Have you seen the replay? DOUG EDDINGS: Yes, I have. Q. Do you still stand by your call? DOUG EDDINGS: Yes, I do. We saw a couple different angles, and if you watch it, the ball changes direction, so I don't see how you guys can say it's clearly a caught ball. RICH RIEKER: We've looked at it in the truck. We've blown it up. I'm sure some of you have seen that angle. We have some technology, and Jerry Crawford saw it, also, the whole crew, and there was definitely a change in direction there. At this point I would say at best it's inconclusive. I wouldn't totally agree that the ball was caught, but there was a change in direction there that we saw and the replay is available to us. Q. Doug, did the Angels not call for an appeal at third until Scioscia came out onto the field? DOUG EDDINGS: Yes. Q. I'm not sure who this was directed to but I guess Doug: Isn't it customary if it's borderline that the catcher just routinely tags the guy and gets it over with? DOUG EDDINGS: Yes, that's why I was pretty shocked at what took place, and that was what kind of talking to Scioscia about. Josh Paul, like you said, especially if you guys have seen the replay, it was questionable. RICH RIEKER: And since Doug did not say that the batter was out, play continues, and that ball is alive. Q. Has it ever been mentioned to you that your mechanism for calling, that most of the baseball players thinks that means he's out and the inning is over with, means that the play is dead to most people? Has that ever been an issue in your career? DOUG EDDINGS: No, it's never been an issue until now. Q. Doug, you clearly saw him drop the ball. You saw Paul drop the ball and the ball hit the ground? DOUG EDDINGS: I had question. That's why if you watched ?? sometimes you go off reactions on what you're doing. There's a lot of times you can hear two sounds. I didn't have him catching the ball. RICH RIEKER: He's not claiming that he dropped the ball. We're claiming that the ball hit the ground and went into the glove. Q. It hit the ground first and then went into his glove? RICH RIEKER: Yes. Q. Just a general group question, guys. Pierzynski after he swung seemed like he went into the other batter's box and took at least a split second. If a batter delays running to first base is he formally called out in those situations or do they have a delay time when they can run because he didn't seem to run immediately after he finished his swing? Is there a rule where if you don't run immediately you're out, and did that come into play here at all? RICH RIEKER: Not until he would reach the dugout steps. Q. Jerry, what kind of help did Mike figure you could help from right field with on that call anyway? JERRY CRAWFORD: Well, he just said, "Where is the crew chief?" So I was there. He just said, "Hey, he called him out." I said, "Mike, he didn't call him out." I said, "He called it a strike."
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