In the first inning of Friday’s Brewers-Nationals game, Anthony Rendon hit a grounder to short with Denard Span running from first on the pitch. Span beat the relay to second and was called safe, but Rendon was easily retired at first on the play.
At least, that’s how it seemed to go down.
After originally calling Span out, second base umpire Angel Campos changed his mind and ruled Span out, seemingly declaring that his popup slide interfered with Scooter Gennett’s relay to first base. And he probably had a case… Span had no need to stand up as quickly as he did, and if he had actually forced Gennett to alter his throw in any way, interference would have made a ton of sense.
Span, though, didn’t get in the path of the ball. And Gennett had no problem completing the relay, as evidenced by the fact that Rendon was easily retired at first. So, with Span also out, the ruling on the field was that of a double play.
Of course, Matt Williams was none too happy with this. But there was nothing reviewable he could challenge. Fortunately, the umps got together to discuss things, and what ended up happening was that Span was still ruled out — unintentional interference being the official call — and Rendon was credited with first base, since Span’s interference created a deadball situation.
So, when all was said and done, the guy who was safe was out and the guy who was out was safe.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.