Joe West: gamer

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I praised Joe West for making the right call in playing the Royals-Cardinals game to its conclusion. Now some pre-praise for the work he and his crew are going to be doing today. The game they officiated ended at 3:14 AM. Figure it took a bit to close up shop and change clothes so they’re leaving the park at, I dunno, 4 AM at the earliest?

Fine and dandy, except for the fact that, as Derrick Goold reports, West and his crew are calling today’s 1:20 PM start for the Diamondbacks-Cubs game.  Goold notes that there was a limo waiting outside to take them from St. Louis to Chicago.

Here’s hoping it’s not a close game or, at the very least, there aren’t any controversial calls.  But if there are, for once the umps have a fairly legit excuse.

Report: Rangers’ deal with Seung-hwan Oh is off

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The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.

Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.

While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.