“The Third Team” documentary looks at World Series umpires

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Joe West is quoted in “The Third Team,” a documentary by MLB Network which will air this Thursday at 9pm, saying that “every time an umpire misses a call, part of him dies inside.”

So Joe West is a zombie, apparently.

No, I kid! I’m a kidder! I’m no fan of Joe West, sure, but he and his brothers in blue are the only ones who can tell us what it’s like to be an umpire in a high-leverage situation like the World Series. And to miss a call. Or, as is far more often the case, make the right calls. And no matter what they do with the calls, to have everyone and their brother watching and second-guessing, which is more than almost all of us can say about our jobs.

And for that reason this looks pretty good:

 

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.