It’s not just the Angels that have issue with the umps after last night’s game with the Red Sox. The umps have decided to fight back and file a complaint with MLB.
According to the Boston Herald, Rick Reed, the home plate umpire from last night’s game, said that he and the rest of the umpiring crew were “verbally abused” by members of the Angels coaching staff at the conclusion of the game.
“Their deportment left a lot to be desired,” Reed said.
Umpires at Fenway Park leave the playing field through the visiting dugout tunnel, which gave the Angels one more chance to voice their opinions about the ball-four call that allowed the Red Sox to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth last night.
The Herald goes on to report:
When the umpiring crew approached the dugout last night, Angels coaches could be seen jawing at them before manager Mike Scioscia could be seen waving them off.
“Mike made an attempt to calm his coaches down but I also thought he made comments that incited the situation,” said Reed.
Of the coaches’ behavior, Reed said it was “unprofessional and unbecoming of a professional team. I would think a coach or two will be regretting his actions.”
Also in the article, Reed admitted that the ball four to Nick Green, which should have been a called third strike to end the game, “very well could have been a strike.” However, he added to his explanation that catcher Mike Napoli moved his glove up after he caught it, a sales attempt that Reed interpreted as the ball was below the strike zone.
Editorial time: if Reed is really making judgments based on how the catcher catches the ball, he has no business being a umpire in major league baseball. That’s just disgusting. The pitch is a strike based on where it crosses plate, not based on what the catcher does with it afterwards. If Reed isn’t skilled enough to judge that, then he’s hopeless and he needs to resign immediately.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.
File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.
It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.
Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.
The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.
So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.