Ian Kinsler: Rays fans were too hung up on the umpiring

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Well, someone’s gotta be, right?

“It’s tough to win when you’re (complaining) about a call from the
previous day,” Kinsler said Friday at Rangers Ballpark, where the series
resumes Saturday. “It seems like they were still talking about the
Carlos Pena call, which is basically a non-issue because it hit the bat.
And it’s tough to be a good crowd when you’re worried about umpires. We
were able to take them out; they were interested in the umpires and it
worked out well for us.”

He’s right about dwelling on it. I may drop a comment here or there because I have a blog and all I do is empty my head into it all day, but I’m more or less moving on from the Posey call. Life’s too short and it’s a damn ballgame so just put your big boy pants on and get on with it, ya know?

Still, I’d be curious how much the crowd being in or out of it really matters to the players. I’ve seen some stuff recently trying to figure out if attendance has an impact on winning, but I’d really like to know if ballplayers actually perform better based on how pumped up the crowd is.

Sure, playing in a sensory deprivation tank like a Florida Marlins makeup game is awful, but do players notice a big difference between, say, 30,000 psyched fans and 30,000 conflicted, dwelling-on-the-past fans? Do they feed off the crowd the same way basketball players seem to do (and I don’t know if they really do either)? 

Screw “which pitches were working for you tonight, Bob.” If I was asking ballplayers questions I’d probably ask them stuff like that.

Giants acquire Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 07: Eduardo Nunez #9 of the Minnesota Twins throws for an out at first in the fourth inning during a game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 7, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
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The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.

Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.

Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.

Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.

With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.