Ho-hum: Mark Buehrle was called for two balks last night

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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.

Report: Nationals to interview Alex Cora for managerial position

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.

Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.

Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.