Joe Maddon is not worried about angry umps

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The Rays have had a lot of run-ins with the umpires this season. David Price and that whole deal with Tom Hallion. Joe Maddon’s multiple ejections. But Maddon tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he’s not worried about retaliation or getting boned on future calls:

“You only get a bad reputation if the complaints are not warranted,” he said. “I think if you cry wolf, if you argue at the inappropriate times, if you’re always on the field just to make noise, that’s different. But I think if they’re warranted, I think then you gain even more respect.”

Joe Maddon has been around this game for a long, long time. You’d think by now that he’d know that umpires don’t really work that way.

Astros officially announce the Michael Brantley signing

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The Astros officially announced their signing of outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

As previously reported, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Brantley.