Question to all of you — and there are a lot of you — who want Bud Selig to step in, change Jim Joyce’s call and award Armando Galarraga a perfect game: do you want Bud to change the outcome of the Mariners-Twins game too? Because that one ended on a blown call as well.
The scene: tenth inning, two on, two out, Ichiro at the plate. He lines one up the middle and Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert makes a diving stop and flips it to J.J. Hardy. The call by second base umpire Dale Scott is that base runner Josh Wilson was “safe,” thereby allowing Ryan Langerhans comes around to score the game-winning run.
The only problem? He was pretty clearly out.
Of course, we have no replay on such calls, so it couldn’t be fixed. But what we do have is a groundswell of opinion, apparently, that Bud Selig can and should retroactively overrule on-the-field calls and change outcomes.
How about this one? It was a game-ender. There was no subsequent activity that would preclude a do-over. The Twins and M’s could simply resume this game at the top of the 10th inning before their next matchup. It would be easy. Indeed, there are multiple games every year in which Bud Selig — whose wisdom and judgment no man has ever doubted — could come in and fix like King freakin’ Solomon.
The answer to me seems clear: implement replay as soon as possible, but let us not get into the messy business of having an eminently flawed Commissioner of Baseball wading into game outcomes the next morning. To do so would invite mischief and madness and God knows we already have enough of that.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.