Miguel Sano: Umpire John Hirschbeck “Told me, ‘Get the (expletive) out of here.'”

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On Sunday, Miguel Sano was called out on strikes on a terrible judgment call by home plate umpire John Hirschbeck. Sano questioned the call and was immediately ejected by Hirschbeck.

Via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sano explained what happened.

“I didn’t want to say anything wrong to him,” Sano said. “I only said, ‘Why did you call that pitch? You don’t feel like you want to be here?’ And he threw me out.”

[…]

“He told me, ‘Get the (expletive) out of here,’ ” Sano said. “He told me that, like, two or three times. I heard it when he told me. I said, ‘You’re not supposed to (tell) me that. You’re supposed to listen to me about that pitch.’ ”

If Sano’s account is true, that’s pretty terrible on Hirschbeck’s part. It would be one thing if Sano had thrown a temper tantrum, but having watched the replay, it simply looked like he wanted an explanation. Why questioning an umpire’s judgment on balls and strikes results in immediate ejection, in the year two thousand sixteen, is beyond me. Why an umpire feels like he can instigate a confrontation with a player or manager is even more baffling.

Twins manager Paul Molitor also thought Hirschbeck’s call was terrible, but he also went to bat for the umpire. Molitor said, “Most umpires will tell you if Joe Mauer tells them he thought that ball was away, they’re going to pay more attention than if you have a young hitter who has less than 400 at-bats in the big leagues. It’s something you do have to earn over time, unfortunately, but there’s a right way to handle those situations. Hopefully the umpire takes the high road and you move on.”

I know that if I’m looking for strike zone judgment, I’m definitely listening to Sano over a veteran like Adam Jones, who has an absurdly low career walk rate of four percent. Age doesn’t beget strike zone wisdom.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.