And you’ll never guess who the umpiring crew was. That’s right. Joe West’s crew. As you probably remember, West ejected Buehrle and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen after he called the left-hander for two balks in May. He was later fined for his actions.
While West didn’t call any of the balks himself this time — first base umpire Dan Bellino called the first one and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called the second — West was stationed at third base.
Buehrle didn’t have a tough time putting two and two together, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com.
“I don’t know. I’ve got four balks — and they’re all against this
crew,” Buehrle said. “I’ve looked at the replay, and you look at side
angles. We’ve got cameras from every angle. I stepped the same, just
like I do every time.”
Buehrle managed to stay in the game this time, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected after arguing the second balk call with Hernandez. He even had some words with West on the way out.
“I wish I was in Venezuela. I could say whatever I want,” Guillen said.
“But I’ve got to protect my players. I never thought it was a balk, but
when they called the balk you have to respect that. But this is my job,
to go there and protect them. I will do anything to protect my players.
That’s what I do best.”
I have a feeling this isn’t the last we have heard of this situation. My only regret is that we didn’t get to hear Hawk Harrelson doing the play-by-play of this game. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to settle for this amazing soundboard.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.