Mike Rizzo is in trouble for going after an ump

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This play, in the ninth inning of yesterday’s Nationals-Mets game, is a blown call.  The throw from Justin Turner clearly pulled Daniel Murphy off the bag and Jayson Werth should have been safe at first. Given that it was a 1-0 game, that was pretty important. Given that the call was so obviously blown, you can understand why Jim Riggleman, Werth and everyone in a gray uniform was a bit miffed with umpire Phil Cuzzi.

But at some point you’re supposed to stop arguing with the ump. And in no event are general managers supposed to seek out the umpire after the game is over and continue to berate him.  Unfortunately, no one gave Mike Rizzo that memo, because he allegedly did that after the game, and the umpires have apparently sent a report to Joe Torre about it.

Cuzzi is no stranger to botched plays, of course. He famously blew that fair/foul call in the 2009 ALDS, depriving Joe Mauer of  hit.  Last year he blew a call that cost the Giants a game — and gave it to the Mets — ruling that Travis Ishikawa slid under Henry Blanco’s tag at the plate when even Blanco said Ishikawa was clearly safe.

But the guy in the suit berating the ump is not the way to handle that kind of thing, and no doubt Rizzo’s wallet is going to be lighter as a result.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.