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The replay umps robbed Brandon Crawford of a home run last night

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UPDATE — 3:00PM: Major League Baseball has issued a press release acknowledging that the replay officials messed up the call and that Brandon Crawford should have been credited with a home run. MLB “regrets the error.”

9:58 AM: Last night the San Francisco Giants were trailing the Cardinals by four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Buster Posey reached second base and Brandon Crawford came to bat. Crawford hit a screamer down the right field line that was on its way into the seats, just by the foul pole. A fan reached out and grabbed it with his glove.

Sometimes that’s bad, but here it shouldn’t have mattered because of where the fan caught it: several feet above the green tin overhang in right field. If he had let it drop it was already clearly a homer, either because it would’ve made the seats, hit the foul pole or, most likely, hit that green tin. The umps on the field recognized this and called it a homer.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the call, however. After a four-minute review, they overturned it, called it a ground rule double and sent Crawford to second base. Watch the play here and ask yourself how in the heck they got this wrong:

If you don’t want to watch all of that, just look here, at the moment he fan catches the ball:

Again: anything on the green is a homer. Hitting the foul pole is a homer. In the seats is a homer. The fan didn’t pull it back fair from the other side of the pole, he’s catching it on the fly and not jerking it back toward him. How this isn’t a homer is beyond me.

I’m generally OK with replay, despite its many problems, but I have no idea how this is not a homer. Especially given that the umps on the field called it one, which would require conclusive evidence that it WASN’T to reach the call the replay officials made.

The Giants season is essentially over at this point, but you still gotta get the calls right. They got boned here.

Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians have traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. In exchange, Texas is sending center fielder Delino DeShields and pitcher Emmanuel Clase to the Indians. There are reports that the Indians will be getting more than just those two players, but no word yet. The deal is pending physical.

Kluber made only seven starts this past year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Those were freak injuries that do not suggest long-term problems, however, so there’s a good reason to think he’ll bounce back to useful form, even if it’s a tough ask for him to return to the form that won him the 2014 and 2017 Cy Young Award.

Before his injury-wracked 2019 campaign, Kluber pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons so mileage could be an issue. For his career he’s 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), a 2.99 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1,461/292 over 1,341.2 innings in nine big league seasons.

Unless there is cash coming from Cleveland in the deal, the Rangers will be paying him $17.5 million this year and a 2021 option of $14 million pursuant to the five-year, $38.5 million contract he inked with Cleveland before the 2015 season.

DeShields, 27, is a career .246/.326/.342 hitter (76 OPS+) and that’s about how he performed in 2019 as well. He was demoted to Triple-A Nashville in May. Clase, who will turn 22 before next season, pitched 21 games, all but one in relief, for the Rangers in 2019 and will still be considered a rookie in 2020. He has been used mostly as a reliever in the minors as well.

Pending what else the Tribe is going to be getting, this appears to be a light return for a pitcher who, despite his 2019 injuries, should be expected to come back and be a workhorse. Unless there is some real talent coming back, in addition to DeShields and Clase, it would seem to be a salary dump for Cleveland and a steal for Texas. It is likewise perplexing how any of the many, many teams who could use starting pitching — the Angels and the Mets, among others, come to mind — could not top the package Texas offered.

As for the Indians, the commitment to Kluber for 2020-21 is $31.5 million if you exercise next year’s option, $18.5 million if you don’t. He’s one year and a freak injury removed from goin 20-7 with a 2.89 (150 ERA+), 0.991 WHIP, and 215 innings pitched. Cleveland is coming off 93 wins and should contend. Why you trade Kluber in that situation, regardless of the return, is a question they should have to answer to fans who expect to see winning baseball.