Just yesterday, as some folks were lamenting the allegedly lost art of managers arguing and getting ejected in the age of instant replay, a manager argued and got ejected for arguing over a call on instant replay.
The manager was John Farrell of the Red Sox and his anger came on what would eventually be called a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. The play, which would give the Yankees their third and decisive run in the game, came when Francisco Cervelli hit into what at first glance appeared to be an inning-ending double play. That’s what umpire Bob Davidson ruled anyway. Joe Girardi came out to challenge it. After a three-minute review, the call was reversed, Cervelli was safe and the Yankees were awarded their third run of the game.
Watch the play here and judge for yourself.
It’s about as close as it gets from where I’m sitting. I think he’s safe. It’s certainly the case that if you called him safe, it’d be damn hard to say he was conclusively out on replay. This case was vice-versa, of course, so to make the call that the replay officials ultimately made, you had to say that he was clearly safe in order to overrule the initial out call. I’m not 100% sure you can say you had that here, but that’s what the replay officials said.
Farrell, whose Red Sox were victimized by a botched replay call the day before, didn’t think they had it. He came out to argue and was quickly ejected. After the game he was still frustrated:
“Extremely difficult to have any faith in the process that’s being used . . . We felt it was clear that the replay was inconclusive. Any angle that we looked at, you couldn’t tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli’s leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system.”
You can bet there will be additional fallout as the days go on. Heck, as the hours go on today.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.