Cervelli Homer.bmp

Was Francisco Cervelli’s home run really a home run?

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To the right is a screen capture of the Francisco Cervelli’s home run from the seventh inning of last night’s this morning’s Orioles-Yankees game clearing the fence. Or not clearing it. Here’s the video.

After watching the video a couple of times and seeing how the fans don’t really bring their arms back toward them before the ball falls down to the warning track, it seems to me that the ball wasn’t going to clear the fence, and was thus interfered with and shouldn’t have been called a homer.  But remember: the call on the field was a home run, so to overturn it, the video evidence had to be conclusive. I’m not sure I trust the video angles shown here to be conclusive in that regard, so I can’t get too riled up over the call being upheld. It’s a close call.

Still: if we have replay for home run calls, and if those calls include the question of fan interference and whether the ball clears the fence, why don’t we have cameras shooting down the fence line?  Or do we and that angle is just not available for TV?

And speaking of angle, how about left fielder Matt Angle’s positioning “under” that ball?  At least there was something to laugh at in this soaking wet, much-delayed game.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.