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Yankees fan ejected for tipping pitch locations to Gary Sanchez

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A weird scene unfolded in Yankee Stadium last night during the Rays-Yankees game. Home plate umpire Dan Bellino had a fan who was sitting behind home plate ejected for tipping pitch locations.

On two straight pitches to Gary Sanchez, after the fan yelled “outside! outside!” in Spanish, in an effort to tip Sanchez as to where Rays catcher Wilson Ramos was setting up. Bellino had an usher eject the fan after the second instance. For what it’s worth, Ramos said after the game that, yeah, he was setting up for an outside pitch. Also for what it’s worth, Sanchez hit an RBI single after the incident was over.

Everyone involved said afterward that it was bizarre but that the umpires handled the situation properly. As for the ejection, Joe Girardi said, “Rightfully so. That shouldn’t happen.” Rays manager Kevin Cash said¬†“The Yankees handled it really well and got him out of there.”

Girardi said he’s heard fans do that on the road before, but not often. It’s a totally new one to me.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.