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Yankees fan ejected for tipping pitch locations to Gary Sanchez


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.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.