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.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.