Bob Davidson’s awful umpiring is finally getting the attention it deserves

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I’m glad to see that prominent media members are starting to focus on the fact that Bob Davidson is one of the worst and definitely the most confrontational umpire in baseball.

Last year Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch ripped into Davidson with a well-done column describing the umpire’s lengthy history of wrong calls and attention-seeking behavior, and now John Lott of the National Post has penned a similar column following Davidson’s latest “incident” with the Blue Jays yesterday.

Lott notes that Davidson led all MLB umpires with 10 ejections last season, points out his incredible propensity to call balks on pitchers, and explains how his tendency to “squat” more than any other umpire leads to a questionable strike zone when he’s behind the plate.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times over the years I’ve heard of an umpire-related incident and been right assuming it involved Davidson. Being a bad umpire is one thing, but being aggressively bad is what really drives me–and an increasing number of people, apparently–crazy when it comes to Davidson.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.