Holy neighborhood play, Batman! Tim Welke blows a call badly


You often see an umpire call the runner out even though the first baseman steps away from the bag a bit after fielding the throw. Or especially on plays at second base where a middle infielder’s good faith effort to prevent having his legs broken results in an “out” call even if he doesn’t touch the bag at exactly the same moment he has the ball.

It’s called the “neighborhood play” and it’s not something that people normally get too bent out of shape about.  But one just happened in the Dodgers-Rockies game that deserves people getting bent out of shape about.

Tell me: what “neighborhood” was Todd Helton in here when Jerry Hairston was called out by first base umpire Tim Welke?


I don’t expect anyone from MLB to comment. But man, really?  You tellin’ me that a fifth umpire in the booth couldn’t have and shouldn’t have fixed this in about ten seconds?

But hey, Human Element, man.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.