The Red Sox signed outfielder Bobby Kielty (pictured, in one of his more difficult moments) to a minor league deal yesterday, and he will report to Pawtucket. He was DFA'd by the Oakland A's recently, and was talking to a few teams about a contract. He said actually rejected overtures from the Yankees, saying he'd rather go to the Red Sox.
It had been a lost season for Kielty, who had a knee problem earlier this season. He played in just 13 games for Oakland in 2007. But he's a good defensive outfielder with a pretty good stick who can play all three positions, and can spell any one of the three Red Sox regulars.
Here's his history: http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/kieltbo01.shtml
If Kielty is healthy, this could be finally mean the end of the Wily Mo Pena Era in Boston. I've done plenty of Wily Mo bashing on this blog, so I'm not going to rehash it all here. If Kielty can step in, letting Pena go might be the best thing for his career. Pena was just never going to make it in Boston, and what the Red Sox need right now is a solid fourth outfielder for the stretch run and postseason. Pena just isn't that.
Did you catch more putrid umpiring on display last night in Anaheim? The home plate ump was dreadful, calling strikes on low pitches that should have been balls. And then James Hoye tosses Manny Ramirez out of the game in the fourth, as Manny questioned a call while walking away. Hoye had Manny repeat it, and he was gone. If Manny used some abusive language, I could see it happening. But this was also a rookie ump. I don't believe umps deserve to be abused verbally, but too many of thse umps have a thin skin and seem to be looking for fights. And if a player is walking away, umps should turn around and get on with his business.
And if that wasn't bad enough, Jerry Crawford really blew it on Jeff Mathis' line drive in the 7th inning that was foul by inches that he called fair. And it led to another run later in the inning. Is it just me or is the umpiring on a whole gotten worse and worse this year. I've seen more blown calls on the bases this year than I can ever remember, and don't get me started on the home plate umpiring. It's simply dreadful. Every ump has his own zone, and for some it seems to get bigger or smaller as the game goes on.
But there seems to be no accountability for umpires. Becoming an MLB ump is like being elected pope or named a Supreme Court justice. You're there for life, and you ultimately answer to no one. The NFL judges there refs after each season. MLB should consider doing the same thing, to weed out the deadwood and incompetent stiffs.
The umps ultimately didn't cost the Red Sox the game last night. The Angels won, 4-2, as Curt Schilling came back after his seven week DL stint and pitched very well. Kevin Youkilis his a two-run homer for all the Red Sox runs (and they came up short too many times again last night). Brandon Moss made his MLB debut in place of Ramirez (what, not Wily Mo?) and went 0-for 2 and a walk.