Vin Scully was on the case last night when Jim Tracy came out to argue the catch/trap play on Shane Victorino’s drive to center. Go to around the two minute mark of this video to see his valuable translation services of Tracy’s tirade:
“He caught the blinkin’ ball … he caught the darn ball … THAT IS BLINKIN’ FERTILIZER … you gotta be blinkin’ me … blinkin’ unbelievable.”
The best part, though, is Scully noting that this whole sequence took way, way longer than any sort of replay procedures would have, thereby undermining the only argument against replay that Joe Torre and Bud Selig ever manage to muster.
Which, even though the umps got this call right, is another argument in favor of replay: it eliminates extended manager arguments. At least if you make a “no arguing replay calls” rule and enforce it with fines and auto-ejections.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.