Denard Span: "you can't make that call right there"


I like Denard Span. Fun guy to watch. Seems like a thoughtful fellow too.  But his comments after getting picked off at second base in yesterday’s game aren’t an example of Span at his best:

“I had told the second-base umpire, I let him know how I felt the
inning after I ran to my position. I just felt like there was no point
in arguing, because he’s already called me out. We had an early game, so
I know everybody’s trying to get out of here. We’ve got a storm coming
in, that’s what I heard.

“You can’t make that call right there. We were battling. Usually
pickoff plays like that, it has to be blatant–like I’m one thousand
percent out.”

This is why I could never do play-by-play or color work for ballgames. If I did, there is a 1000% chance that I would ascribe some percentage of outness to Denard Span every single time he didn’t reach base safely, most likely beating it to death as the season wore on.

And if I were one of his teammates, I would, without question, be at the mall this morning having “1000% out” t-shirts made for everyone in the clubhouse.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.