Bob Davidson screws up a double switch, costs the Cardinals a hitter

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The Cardinals beat the Marlins in extras last night, but umpire Bob Davidson made it all the harder when he screwed up a double-switch made by Mike Matheny which cost the Cards Allen Craig.

The short version: when Matheny put reliever Victor Marte into the game, he signaled “five” with his hands, meaning that he was taking over David Freese’s position in the lineup, with Freese being the third baseman or the five-position, defensively (he was batting seventh). After a batter had batted, however, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen came out and said told Davidson that Matheny meant the five-hole in the lineup, which had been occupied by Allen Craig.

Davidson inexplicably agreed with Guillen regarding what Matheny meant, said that the pitcher was supposed to be batting fifth now and that Allen Craig had to leave the game. This later led to the Cardinals having to use a pitcher to pinch hit in extra innings. Which worked out — he got an RBI — but still.

Later the on-field mics picked up Davidson telling Ozzie that he “f****d up,” and that Matheny had, in fact, told him that he wanted the pitcher in the seven-hole. Too late, of course.

Just another day in Mr. Davidson’s neighborhood.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.