Davidson ejected Brewers fan for homophobic slur

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Umpire Bob Davidson says he ejected a fan at Milwaukee’s Miller Park during Tuesday’s game after the use of a homophobic slur aimed at Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
Davidson ejected 44-year-old Sean A. Ottow in the seventh inning last night because, according to the Associated Press, he wanted to make sure Molina wouldn’t do something to escalate the situation.
Ottow was interviewed by the AP while handcuffed to a bench on Miller Park’s service level and said that he never swore at Molina.
Davidson, who also got some notice last month after Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said he made the “worst call” he’d ever seen on a fair ball ruled foul, also ejected Brewers outfielder Chris Dickerson and Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan from last night’s game, which Milwaukee won 4-2.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.