Yesterday, Daren Brown and Henry Cotto of San Antonio were ejected arguing balls and strikes, and today it was the PCL's turn to learn what happens..... when REPLACEMENT UMPS ATTACK. Jesse Foppert got tossed 3 2/3rds innings into his outing. The home plate umpire, drunk with power, then ejected Tacoma SS Jose Morban, before turning on the home side, ejecting Fresno 1B Chad Santos. I imagine he then looked upon the depopulated field, then looked down in wide-eyed amazement at his ejecting thumb and wondered to himself, 'What have I done?' I ask you, dear reader, would Iron Chef, the most scrupulously well-arbitered contest in, er, not America, submit to the eternal shame of having local barflys umpire *professional* contests? Not bloody likely.
To be fair, Foppert did hit three Grizzlies, paired with three walks. Symmetry is nice and all, but the guy has got to stop putting people on base for free. He had *5* Ks in his abbreviated start; shows you what he could be without all of the guys trotting down to first base without swinging.
Foppert and the Ump's Day of Rage only served to shift attention, ever so slightly, from Tacoma's outfield prospects Shin-Soo Choo and Adam Jones. The former hit another HR, running his season line to .417/.528/.667, which is, and your 'ProspectWatch' standards may vary, pretty good. He also swiped his 6th base. But he was shown up by young CF prospect Adam Jones, who hit his first *two PCL HRs*. That brought his line way up to .257/.257/.514. Yes, that's right, Adam's yet to take his first PCL walk. To point that out, however, feels downright petulant on a night in which he had 9 total bases, and managed to walk the gauntlet...WHEN REPLACEMENT UMPS ATTACK.
The 9-5 Rainiers win brought the Rainiers out of a 1st place tie - they're now .5 games ahead of the Salt Lake Something-to-do-with-bees. But where will they be, and what will be left of them.... WHEN REPLACEMENT UMPS ATTACK?
In other news, Travis Blackley was mauled by the Frisco RoughRiders - who really should be a CFL franchise - and, in all probability, by those attack-minded REPLACEMENT UMPS. He didn't get ejected until Daren Brown had seen enough, but he did put up a 4 2/3IP, 10H, 7R, 1HBP, 2K, 2HR line, which is *not what we wanted to see.* I've got no idea what he was throwing, so we should all go ask Churchill.
The big thing in the Inland Empire loss (in 12 innings) was Steven Kahn putting up a line of 1 2/3IP 1H, 0R, 4K to run his season K/BB to 17:1. It's that kind of thing that can get you sent up to AA ball to face advanced hitters and more aggressive REPLACEMENT UMPS. He got a blown save for allowing one of Aaron Trolia's runs to score, but seriously people, 17:1. Speaking of which, Matt Tuiasosopo now has a positively KAAAAHHHNNian K/BB ratio of 16:1. That said, he's hitting .333. But he's got an ISO of only .120. There are some good and bad things in that line, and what you see pretty much depends on your evaluation of Tui before he swung a bat this year. I'm fairly pessimistic on the guy, so go to Dr. D or, hell, Baseball America for your dose of optimism. Again, he's hitting .333 and I, a guy with a computer, am not impressed. Thanks for coming, folks!
The M's lost in the 9th on a walk-off HR by Mark Loretta, but you knew that. George Sherrill didn't pitch, which is fair enough. Games like this *will* happen, people. The problem is that they may happen fairly frequently if Everyday Eddie is more like Everyman Eddie, throwing up a solid, blue-collar, middle-America, beer-league 85 MPH fastball.