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?

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.