League, Umps about to reach a new labor deal

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I didn’t even know that the umps’ labor deal  was close to expiring. But apparently it is, and apparently they’re about to ink a new one without any NBA-style strife.

The only changes of note: the league wants more flexibility to assign umpires to the playoffs and World Series, moving away from the seniority/carousel system they have in place. This is a good thing because (a) the baseball playoffs are not like preschool and not everyone needs to get a turn; and (b) given how bad the umpiring was in the playoffs this year, the more good umps in, the better. No word on whether or not they’ll actually make the league determine whether the “good” umps they assign will actually be good or, instead, will be guys like Joe West.

Oh, and they bargained away the dental plan, so little Lisa will now have to get the ugly braces that predate stainless steel, so she can’t get them wet.

Angels sign Chris Young to one-year deal

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The Angels went on a Chris binge yesterday. In addition to signing Chris Carter to a minor league deal they signed Chris Young — the outfielder Chris Young, not the pitcher Chris Young — to a one-year contract. Young will make $2 million with incentives that could make the pact more valuable.

Young, 34, hit .235/.322/.387 with seven home runs in a part-time role last season with the Red Sox. He’s historically been a plus defender and has handled all three outfield positions in the past, but he’s really a corner guy/platoon DH these days. Not that the Angels need a center fielder. Rumor has it that they have a pretty decent one.