League, Umps about to reach a new labor deal

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I didn’t even know that the umps’ labor deal  was close to expiring. But apparently it is, and apparently they’re about to ink a new one without any NBA-style strife.

The only changes of note: the league wants more flexibility to assign umpires to the playoffs and World Series, moving away from the seniority/carousel system they have in place. This is a good thing because (a) the baseball playoffs are not like preschool and not everyone needs to get a turn; and (b) given how bad the umpiring was in the playoffs this year, the more good umps in, the better. No word on whether or not they’ll actually make the league determine whether the “good” umps they assign will actually be good or, instead, will be guys like Joe West.

Oh, and they bargained away the dental plan, so little Lisa will now have to get the ugly braces that predate stainless steel, so she can’t get them wet.

Angels’ Pujols passes Mays for 5th on homer list with No. 661

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas.

The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin‘s fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field.

Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado.

It is only Pujols’ second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year.

Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).