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.

Rays acquire Sergio Romo from Dodgers

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The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.

The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.

Colin Moran is carted off the field after taking a foul ball to the eye

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Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.

Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.

Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.