Report: Cubs “stepping up their pursuit of Prince Fielder”

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There seemingly hasn’t been much movement on the Prince Fielder front since Albert Pujols signed with the Angels, but now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Cubs are “stepping up their pursuit of Fielder.”

What that means exactly is unclear, but with the Marlins saying repeatedly that they aren’t interested in throwing a ton of money at Fielder his opportunities for a huge payday are somewhat limited and the Cubs are among the few obvious fits.

Seattle has also been linked to Fielder recently and there’s speculation that Texas could make a run at him as well. And of course no one should be surprised if a “mystery team” emerges in pursuit of the Scott Boras client.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.