Bobby Valentine could wind up back at ESPN next season

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ESPN analyst and former major league skipper Bobby Valentine has interviewed for a variety of managerial openings this offseason and has expressed interest in a few different gigs.  He is highly respected and has enjoyed success at nearly every level of baseball, and yet he hasn’t been offered a position by any club.

Maybe his contract demands are too high, or maybe he doesn’t want to step into a rebuilding role.  Either way, it looks as though Bobby V won’t be coaching in 2011.

Ken Davidoff of New York’s Newsday thinks that Valentine will wind up back at ESPN in an analyst role when all is said and done, and the 60-year-old hinted as much when speaking with Chris Russo on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio this weekend.

“If it was just a job, I think I could already have it, and probably have it a few places, and I really am flattered by the people who have had me in and have talked to me and even offered me a chance,” Valentine said Friday. “But I’m looking for that perfect situation, and it hasn’t presented itself yet.”

Valentine has been courted by the Marlins, Mariners and even Blue Jays this offseason.  The Mets have not yet begun their search for a new skipper, opting instead to focus on finding a new general manager.  Maybe they’ll consider giving Bobby V another try once their front office is settled.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

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Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

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The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.