ST. PETERSBURG — Upon further review, umpire Doug Eddings was wrong about the controversial obstruction call involving Willy Aybar in Sunday's game at Chicago.
Mike Port, MLB's vice president of umpiring, told the St. Petersburg Times on Thursday that it was "a missed call" and that in making the split-second decision, Eddings thought he saw runner A.J. Pierzynski "impeded more than he was" by Aybar, the Rays' third baseman.
"Looking back at that occurrence, for the first and last time, it was a missed call," Port said. "And it was not because Doug Eddings, an umpire with 10 years' experience and 10 before that in the minor leagues, didn't know the application of the rule, but just that in the moment in applying the rule, he saw something he thought was more than it turned out to be."
Pierzynski, in a rundown between second and third in the 10th inning, stuck out his left elbow at Aybar. Eddings ruled there was obstruction and awarded third base to Pierzyn- ski, who later scored the winning run for the White Sox.
Port said that after watching replays, Eddings was "the first to admit" he was wrong and said so to MLB officials who regularly review controversial plays. There is no recourse, however, for the Rays.