Boston Red Sox

Sox go lefty, righty with next two picks

783866.jpg

Sox go lefty, righty with next two picks

The Red Sox went for college pitching with their second and third picks -- one lefthanded, the other righthanded.

With the 31st pick, the Sox chose lefty Brian Johnson from the University of Florida. Johnson isn't overpowering, but has good command and projects as a No. 3 or 4 starter down the road. The feeling among scouts is that, thanks to his command and secondary pitches, he could move up the minor leagues very quickly.

Johnson is also a power-hitting first baseman, but the expectation is that the Red Sox view him as a pitcher.

Six picks later, the Sox went with righthander Pat Light from Monmouth University. Light has a big frame (6-foot-6, 210 pounds) and can throw in the mid-90s. He's been compared to Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann.

Light was undefeated in high school (20-0). This past year, he was 7-3 with a 2.81 ERA. He struck out 87 and walked just 12 in 86 innings.

Both picks were compensation for the Sox losing free agent closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Philadelphia Phillies last off-season.

MLB umpires end protest, will meet with Manfred

umpires-protest-wrist-band-wristband-082117.jpg

MLB umpires end protest, will meet with Manfred

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball umpires have ended their protest of what they called "abusive player behavior" after Commissioner Rob Manfred offered to meet with their union's governing board.

Most umpires wore white wristbands during Saturday's games after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez. Kinsler said Tuesday that Hernandez was a bad umpire and "just needs to go away."

The World Umpires Association announced Sunday in a series of tweets that Manfred had proposed a meeting to discuss its concerns.

"To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wrist bands pending the requested meeting," the organization posted on Twitter.

Kinsler was ejected by Hernandez last Monday in Texas after being called out on strikes. The next day, Kinsler sharply criticized Hernandez, saying the umpire was "messing" with games "blatantly."

"No, I'm surprised at how bad an umpire he is. ... I don't know how, for as many years he's been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to re-evaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line," Kinsler said.

Kinsler was fined, but the umpires' union felt he should have been suspended.

"The Office of the Commissioner's lenient treatment to abusive player behavior sends the wrong message to players and managers. It's `open season' on umpires, and that's bad for the game," the WUA said in a release on Saturday.