In the end, you fall back on an ancient truism: It's just one of those weird baseball deals.
And so, this, the end of Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night, which will forever be debated now the way these things always get debated forever. Did Will Middlebrooks intentionally try to trip Allen Craig? Did he raise his feet to deliberately try to trip Craig, or was it simply an inadvertent reaction to diving for Jared Saltalamacchia's horrendously boneheaded throw and trying to scramble to his feet?
I've watched the replay half a dozen times, and I can't tell you for sure. And -- here's the weird baseball deal part -- apparently it doesn't matter. Even though the very word "obstruction" implies intent, the rule apparently states that no intent is necessary for the umps to rule obstruction.
So if two guys just get tangled up, as seems the case here, it's obstruction. Period.
Again: Weird baseball deal.
And if Saltalamacchia wassn't lighting a candle or two to the baseball gods this morning, he should have. Had it not been for Craig and Middlebrooks getting tangled up, we're all talking about how he cost the Red Sox Game 3 with his profoundly stupid throw. He had no chance, zero, to get Craig, because Craig was already practically standing on the bag when he let it go.
And one more thing: If the Cardinals now go on to win the Series, it will be karma turning on itself, because Sunday night pays for all time the Don Denkinger call from 1985 that Cardinals fans still endlessly whine about.
Well, St.Louis, you got your makeup call -- and the cost, if you win the Series, will be the perception for all time that the umps won it for you. The MVP of this Series, if you win, will be Jim Joyce.
And so: Blue taketh away; Blue giveth. Another weird baseball deal.