ESPN The Magazine ran a poll recently asking 100 unnamed MLB players to rank the best and worst umpires in the game.
Jim Joyce, who blew Tigers starter Armando Galarraga’s bid for a perfect game two weeks ago, was given top billing in the poll and it wasn’t even close. Tim McClelland came in second and Jim Wolf was ranked third. CB Bucknor, Joe West and Angel Hernandez were ranked among the worst.
Joyce drew praise for owning up to his mistake and clearly showing remorse when he denied Galarraga history in June. Many players and fellow umpires came forward in defense of the man, and now it’s pretty clear to see that he is widely respected.
The Yankees signed Adam Lind to a minor league deal this past offseason. Then they released him during spring training. Now they have signed him to another minor league deal. He’ll report to extended spring training where he’ll now try not to get extended released.
Lind is a platoon guy with little defensive value, but he hit .303/.362/.513 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 301 plate appearances for the Nationals last season, serving as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman and outfielder. The injury to Greg Bird and the impending suspension of Tyler Austin — he’s currently on appeal — will likely give him at least some opportunity to show that he’s still a big leaguer.
Which, yeah, he probably still is. Or at least would be if teams didn’t have 13 and 14-man pitching staffs and actually had room for a couple of bench position players. Such is not the current game of baseball, however.