MLB: Triple play umpire used “improper mechanics”

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In ATH this morning we mentioned that in yesterday’s Padres-Dodgers game home plate umpire Dale Scott held his hands up suggesting “dead ball” on the play that resulted in that 2-5-6-3 double play. The runners all froze at the hand signals, assuming the play was dead.

The play was reviewed by Major League Baseball, and here’s the official statement from senior vice president of baseball operations, Peter Woodfork:

“After review and discussion with the umpire, we have determined that the call itself of a fair ball was correct. However, while making the call, there was an incorrect mechanic, which appeared to confuse San Diego’s base runners. At no time did the umpire verbally kill the play on the field. After reviewing the entire situation following the game, the umpire realizes his hands were in an exaggerated upward appearance similar to a call that would indicate a dead ball. While we all agree that it was a fair ball that did not hit the batter, the umpire recognizes that the proper mechanic was not executed as he tried to avoid the catcher.”

Hurm. Given the likelihood that verbal rulings might not be heard by baserunners in a loud stadium, one would think that the hand signals should trump what the ump says (or in this case doesn’t say, which is “foul ball”).

But I would assume ruling in such a fashion would have required a replay of the ninth inning of yesterday’s game, yes? And that baseball wouldn’t really want to do that.

Report: Mets, Jose Quintana agree to 2-year, $26 million deal

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The New York Mets and José Quintana agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract, adding another veteran arm to the team’s rotation.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical.

New York has been rebuilding its pitching staff following a playoff loss to San Diego in the wild-card round. Three members of its rotation became free agents this offseason, and the Mets also had several openings in their bullpen.

Ace right-hander Justin Verlander agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million contract with New York.

Quintana played for Pittsburgh and St. Louis last season, going 6-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts. The left-hander was terrific after he was traded to the Cardinals in August, posting a 2.01 ERA in 12 appearances for the NL Central champions.

Quintana also worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings for St. Louis in his lone playoff start, but the Cardinals were eliminated by Philadelphia.