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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 7:03 p.m., Friday, September 5, 2008

Baseball: Angels rookie helps umpire mess up call

Associated Press

CHICAGO Los Angeles Angels rookie infielder Sean Rodriguez has 37 strikeouts and nine walks in his brief major league career. But if he'd been paying attention earlier this week, he'd have one less punchout and one more free pass.

Rodriguez struck out on what amounted to a 4-2 pitch in the fourth inning of the Angels' 7-1 win over Detroit on Thursday. It happened after home plate umpire Tim Welke changed a 2-2 count to a 1-2 count after consulting with Rodriguez and Tigers' catcher Brandon Inge.

"After a foul ball, Tim asked Brandon what the count was 1-2 or 2-2," Rodriguez said Friday before the Angels played the White Sox. "We were both on the same page because Inge said 'I think it's 1-2' and I said 'yeah, I think it is also'. I really did. I would have told him it was 2-2 if I thought it was. It just slipped my mind."

A teammate informed Rodriguez of the mistake when he returned to the dugout. Rodriguez took full responsibility for the error.

"It was basically more my fault than anybody because if I say it's 2-2, then it might have got resolved," Rodriguez said. "It was all right. Tim apologized and said 'I'm sorry'. I said, 'Don't even worry about it. If there was a runner in scoring position or if the game was in a tighter situation, maybe it's a big deal but don't even worry about it. I know you didn't mean to.' I told him it was my fault."

Welke, in St. Louis on Friday night, said he was confused when his indicator read a 1-2 count but the scoreboard had it at 2-2 after a wild pitch.

"I asked Brandon Inge what the count was, and he said 'Let's go through the pitches.' We got started, but he (Rodriguez) said 'It's 1-2,'" Welke said. "I said 'Are you sure?' and he said yes. I told him 'I appreciate your honesty.'

"I put up 1-2, and nobody said anything."

Welke said Rodriguez admitted he had made a mistake during a later at-bat.

"He said 'Tim, I've got good news and bad news for you. The bad news is it was 2-2, but the good news is it's my fault,'" Welke said. "This probably happens one or two times a year, but you never want it to happen."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't find any humor in the situation when asked Friday.

"It was (embarrassing)," he said. "He should have caught it."