Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Doug Eddings, replacement umpire

The Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday night with an assist from home plate umpire Doug Eddings who, with two out in the ninth inning of a tie game, called A.J. Pierzynski out on strikes, watched while he ran to first as if the ball had been in the dirt, then called him safe.

The lost third out was followed by a stolen base and a game-winning double.

After the game, the umpire was forced to defend his call to incredulous reporters and angry Angels.

Doug Eddings, according to his bio on, became a Major League umpire in 1999. That happens to be the year that Major League Umpires Association chief Richie Phillips decided to lead his members in a mass resignation because their union contract had a no-strike clause.

Major League baseball hired twenty-five minor league umpires in July, 1999, and put them on the field that September.

Doug Eddings was one of them.

Memo to Commissioner Bud Selig: Don't hold a grudge. There must be at least one professional umpire out there who'd like his job back.

Copyright 2005