The Phillies sign Jeff Francoeur, seven others to minor league deals

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I can’t remember the last time I wanted a guy to make a team as much as I want Jeff Francoeur to make the Phillies next year. He’ll get his chance as he and seven others, including Xavier Paul, Russ Canzler and Brian Bogusevic, signed minor league deals with spring invites today.

Really, Francoeur on the Phillies is basically the trolling singularity for guys like me. I would probably watch every single Phillies game he started next season if he made it. I’d even consider a Phillies shirsey with his name on the back.

But, beyond that, I’m not mocking the deal here. It’s only a minor league thing. And a team that is rebuilding should be in the business of getting veteran placeholders who cost virtually nothing to keep spots warm until there is a plausible prospect to be used in his place. A mockable move would be to sign some 30something scrub to a multi-year deal to fill that spot. This is actually just good sense by Ruben Amaro. Stockpile veterans who are basically free and do your best to get through the season.

Still, I am totally on team Francoeur here. And I am dead serious about buying that shirsey if he makes the team. You guys remind me of this next April, OK?

Here are your World Series Umpires

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The men in blue. Although it often looks black, yes? They still wear blue sometimes though so it probably doesn’t matter. Let’s just call ’em the baseball cops and not worry too much about what they’re wearing.

Here are the baseball cops for the 2019 World Series: Alan Porter, Doug Eddings, Gary Cederstrom, James Hoye,
Lance Barksdale, Sam Holbrook, and Jim Wolf.

Cederstrom is the Crew Chief and will have second base in tonight’s Game 1, after which they rotate as they always do.

Wolf will serve as the Replay Official for Games One and Two, after which he will join the on-field crew as the left field umpire for Game Three. Porter, the home plate umpire for Game One, will shift to Replay Official duties from Game Three through the conclusion of the World Series. The Replay Assistant throughout the Fall Classic will be regular season crew chief Jerry Meals.

The umpires will wear a uniform patch in memory of umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away over the weekend. The patch will say “Coop.”