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Monday Morning Notes

I watched the replay of yesterday's bizarre 8th-inning play multiple times. If you haven't, the link above shows it, or watch it here:

The umpires got it exactly right. In one replay, from the camera behind the 3B dugout, you can see Juan Uribe obstruct Angel Pagan. At the time, Pagan is just off second base -- and you can see Felix Pie having just crossed third base. The 3B umpire, Ed Hickox, immediately raised his arms to signal the obstruction.

This, I think, is where the confusion arose, because the ball was flung all over the infield after that, and it seemed as if everyone wearing a gray road uniform was tagged multiple times. The key thing to remember is that once the umpire signaled the obstruction, none of that mattered -- it's as if none of it really happened. Since Pagan and Pie were right at 2B and 3B respectively, they were awarded those bases, with Mark DeRosa, who had singled off the wall, remaining at first, as per MLB rule 7.06(a):

When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction."

If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batterrunner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out.

Now, based on that, you could argue that Pie should have been allowed to score, and Pagan advancing to third ("awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction"). But with three runners involved, I think the umpires got it right.

Even Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who argued to no avail, was polite and non-profane about it, and asked to be tossed:

"I told them I wasn't going out for nothing," he said afterward, with the eventual call going against the Sox. "I said, 'Throw me out.'"

Crew chief Joe West complied, saying that was the easy part.

"He didn't use any profanity. He was very gentlemanly," West said. "You can't blame Ozzie. It was a messed-up play you don't see very often. He was going to stick up for his players, and we don't blame him for that."

Today, the Cubs are expected to make a roster move, going back to 12 pitchers. But who will be removed, and who will be recalled? Bruce Miles speculates that it could either be Neal Cotts, or:

It's also possible the Cubs could turn to nonroster man and Joliet product Carmen Pignatiello. The lefty is 0-0 with a 2.49 ERA and 1 save at Iowa. In 25º innings, he has given up 23 hits and 5 walks.

"If two weeks ago, if we needed somebody else, it would have been Pignatiello," [Lou] Piniella said.

As Bruce notes, Pignatiello isn't on the 40-man roster, meaning someone would have to be removed to make room. That's where all you "DFA Jacque Jones" fans might get your wish, because Jones is clearly about at the end of his tenure with the Cubs and if they can't deal him today, they could DFA him, meaning they'd have ten more days to find a taker.

Finally, Mike reminded me that the last time, before Alfonso Soriano did it Friday and Saturday, that any visiting player had led off two consecutive games at the Cell with a home run was almost five years ago: August 19 and August 20, 2002. I'll let you click on the linked boxscores to find out who that player was.