Binocular-gate: Managers trade shots as White Sox and Tigers feud

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Nothing like a little late-season drama in the AL Central.

Yesterday afternoon White Sox ace Chris Sale plunked Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez with a pitch, clearing the benches.

Sale indicated that he believed Martinez, who’s hitting .334 this season, had someone in the outfield with binoculars relaying signs to him. He even made a binocular gesture with his hands circling his eyes, which Ian Kinsler of the Tigers later mocked.

(Al Beaton of the Tigers blog Bless You Boys has a good recap, including screen shots.)

Then after the game Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he felt Sale hit Martinez on purpose and called the whole notion “weak.” And so naturally today White Sox manager Robin Ventura fired back at him, saying:

He’s not weak and we don’t do weak things. And Chris doesn’t do weak things. He [Ausmus] should probably worry about his own team and invest a little more in his own team. Don’t worry about my team.

Adding to the drama? Ventura and the White Sox finish the season with a four-game series against the Royals, who’re trying to overtake Ausmus and the Tigers for the AL Central title.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.