Valentine continues to vent
A day after being ejected, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was still steamed about umpiring, and said technology should be used to eliminate human error in calling balls and strikes.
“I want a ball called a ball and a strike called a strike. Figure out how to do it,” Valentine said before his team began a series Monday at Miami.
Valentine, upset with home plate umpire Al Porter, launched a tirade with two outs in the ninth inning of Sunday’s loss to Washington. The Red Sox dropped all three games in the series, and Valentine said his frustration about the way pitches were called built through the weekend.
Valentine declined to propose a specific solution, but said the technology exists to improve the accuracy of calling pitches. He said he doesn’t fault umpires, because he believes it’s impossible to see the final few feet of a pitch traveling 90 mph and sometimes breaking sharply.
“The umpires are very well trained, and I think they’re very good at what they do,” Valentine said. “I think it’s almost impossible to do what they do. So why do we ask them to do the impossible?”
Valentine said he had yet to hear from Major League Baseball regarding his outburst Sunday.
“I probably will,” he said. “They fine you and take your money and reprimand you, as though I did something wrong. It’s a great system. I love it.”
Clearing the bases
A person familiar with the deal says the Chicago Cubs have reached an agreement with Cuban free agent outfielder Jorge Soler. The 20-year-old Soler was sought after by several teams and is considered a five-tool player who will require some minor league seasoning. … Carlos Zambrano, one of baseball’s best hitting pitchers, is now under orders to cool it in batting practice. Zambrano complained of a stiff back in his most recent start Saturday, and manager Ozzie Guillen said lusty swings can’t help. “Now he’s going to bunt, bunt and bunt,” Guillen said. … Major League Baseball and the players’ union have appointed Dr. Jeffry Anderson as the new independent administrator for the sport’s drug prevention and treatment program. Anderson has been the director of sports medicine and head team physician at the University of Connecticut since 1994. … Boston Red Sox reliever Rich Hill’s latest elbow problem has been diagnosed as a strained flexor muscle, and he’s expected to be sidelined for at least a month. … Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper returned to the lineup, one day after he didn’t start because of a sore back. … The Braves have recalled right-hander Cory Gearrin from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace Julio Teheran.