Umpire Randy Marsh apologizes to Jim Leyland

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Inge Marsh.jpgYou’ll recall the little controversy in the 12th inning of Game 163 between the Twins and Tigers last year? The one in which home plate umpire Randy Marsh missed the fact that Brandon Inge got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that would have given the Tigers at least a one-run lead and, possibly, the division title?  Well, Marsh lived with it for a few weeks after the season but then he unburdened his conscience:

Not that it does much good now, but they got it wrong — and they know it.

In an interview last Friday before a charity roast for Don Zimmer in Connecticut, Jim Leyland said he got a call from umpire Randy Marsh “three weeks into the offseason” to apologize
for missing the one-out pitch with the bases loaded that hit Brandon
Inge in the playoff game against Minnesota.

I suppose the first impulse of a Tigers fan would be to moan and complain about this.  The second impulse, however, should be to reflect on the facts that (a) the Tigers were still unable to get a run home from third with one out; and (b) they wouldn’t have even been in the game if they hadn’t blown a seven game lead in September in the first place.

But hey, apology accepted.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.