Meanwhile, in the Northwoods League

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Those wood bat summer leagues college players often join? Kinda cool. They’re so loose they make the low minors look like The Serious Leagues (Brian McCann: commissioner).

This extends to team names too, as the new team the Northwoods League up in Kalamazoo attests: it’s the Growlers. Which, sadly, is not about beer growlers. It’s bear-themed. Still kinda cool, but a missed opportunity there.

But better yet were the names which lost:

Other names considered as part of the contest were the Cabbies, the Clutch, the Kangaroos and the Krakens.

Really wish we could have had “the Krakens.” And the team will play in Homer Stryker Field, which sounds like a action movie name Homer Simpson would use.

Road trip?

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.