The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

October 27, 2013

Thoma column: News flash: The umps got this one right

(Continued)

Intent doesn't matter. Middlebrooks was waving his feet around, and so what? He could have remained as motionless as a body in a Civil War photograph; once Craig tripped over him, it was obstruction.

Middlebrooks and Craig weren't in a straight line between third base and home. Again, it doesn't matter. As long as there's no tag play going on, the runner makes his own baseline. Craig can head for home by way of Kansas City if he wishes.

There's really nothing Middlebrooks could have done to avoid interference other than make the play on the throw or at least remain on his feet and out of Craig's way.

The Sox and their fans are unhappy with the outcome of Game Three, and that's understandable. Blaming the umpiring for the outcome is not. The Red Sox, and specifically Saltalamacchia, messed up the final play, not Joyce.

Edward Thoma (344-6377; ethoma@mankatofreepress.com) maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at fpbaseballoutsider.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.

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