This is a totally non-partisan statement that should not be construed as some kind of excuse for the Orioles' 6-4 loss to the Red Sox tonight. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings needs to go back to one of the umpire academies and learn the strike zone. He was absolutely all over the place tonight, and the only reason it advantaged the Red Sox was because they had the better starting pitcher and a catcher who wasn't subtle about pulling the ball back over the plate.
Most experienced umpires aren't fooled by framing, and nobody should have been fooled by Jason Varitek snatching ankle-high pitches and jerking them up to knee level, but maybe the odd angle of Varitek's crouch makes it hard to see over his shoulder. If so, good for him. He did his job and Eddings didn't do his.
It's pretty sweet when you're a power pitcher like Josh Beckett and you get six inches off the plate and three extra inches at the top and bottom of the strike zone. There were a couple of glaring examples while closer Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound in the ninth, too, but it was the same strike zone for both teams.
The same ridiculous strike zone, but the Red Sox did a much better job of exploiting it.