Ron Washington, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

Ron Washington blasts umpire: “Angel is just bad. That’s all there is to it.”

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I know Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire. You know Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire. Heck, I presume that everyone affiliated with Major League Baseball in one way or another knows it too.

Thing is, you just rarely hear anyone come out and say it.

Well, Ron Washington came out and said it last night after both he and Rangers first base coach Gary Pettis were ejected in the seventh inning of last night’s Marlins-Rangers game after arguing that Marlins’ pitcher Mike Dunn had balked when Nelson Cruz was picked off first base and caught in a rundown:

“Angel is just bad,” Washington said. “That’s all there is to it.”

Here’s the whole exchange, including the no-call on the balk and the subsequent argument. I think it was a balk. If you watch the last replay of it toward the end of the video (the one with the overhead angle from the third base side) you can tell that he came way farther toward home with this front leg than is allowed before going to first. Of course, balks are some of the most inconsistently-called plays in baseball, so I imagine that if Hernandez had called it a balk there, there would have been an equally colorful argument from Jack McKeon.

But we can all agree that Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire, right?  We can also agree that Washington is probably going to get fined for the bill of his cap smacking the bill of Hernandez’s cap, right?  And that we’ll never hear publicly about Hernandez getting disciplined for bad calls?

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.