Ron Washington gets ejected . . . for some reason

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Ron Washington argues.jpgRich Harden fielded a chopper to the mound in the second inning of last night’s Rangers-Athletics game. He ran it back to the bag himself, beating Eric Chavez by a mile.  Chavez was called out. Problem: based on the video, Harden did not appear to touch the bag. The umpires conferred after the call and the first base umpire’s original call of safe was overturned. Correctly, it would appear.

This, not surprisingly,caused Ron Washington to come out and argue the call. Despite being ejected just this past Friday, Washington does not have a reputation as a combustible manager. His argument, which you can also see in the linked video, also seems subdued.  So why the ejection? According to crew chief Joe West, Washington was ejected because managers “are not allowed to argue
after the umpires confer on a call.”

Um, OK.  This is nothing I’ve ever heard before. I mean, on some level I can understand it if a manager argues, gets the umpires to confer, they confer and the call that caused all the trouble is upheld, because at that point the manager is really no longer trying to persuade as much as he is just bitching.

But that’s not what happened here. Washington had a favorable call overturned, and he was arguing the overturning in the first instance. This was Washington’s beef after the game when he said “Bobby Geren can argue and I can’t argue?”

I’m with you Ron. I mean, you were wrong because Rich Harden clearly didn’t touch first base, but it seems like you’re just as entitled to argue a call as the next guy, and that’s all you were doing.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.