Bobby Valentine was ejected for the 38th time in his managerial career last night and for the first time as Red Sox skipper. And it was super awkward.
Valentine came out to argue after Marlon Byrd hit a grounder up the middle and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins threw him out in a close play at first for the second out in the top of the ninth inning. Bobby V tried to state his case to first base umpire Gary Darling that Ty Wigginton came off the first base bag before catching the throw from Rollins. After Valentine made multiple hops into the air to emphasize his point, this happened. A true gift from the GIF gods.
Yes, Darling’s gum fell out of his mouth and hit Valentine in the chest. You can watch the full video of the ejection here. Bobby V deserves a lot of credit for keeping his composure long enough to wish a pox upon Darling’s house while walking back to the dugout.
The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.
This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.
The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.