Chris Sale thought Victor Martinez, Tigers were stealing signs — benches clear

Chris-Sale-sign-stealingBenches cleared during Wednesday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers after Chris Sale hit Victor Martinez with a pitch in the sixth inning. The plunking came after Sale appeared to accuse Martinez and the Tigers of stealing signs.

As you can see from the video above, Sale sarcastically tipped his cap toward center field in the third after he struck Martinez out to end the inning. It became obvious that Sale thought someone — possibly from the Tigers bullpen — was tipping pitches to Detroit’s hitters. Sale hit Martinez the next time he faced him and the dugouts emptied.

No punches were thrown, and the Tigers got the last laugh. Sale had dominated Detroit to that point, but Martinez ended up scoring the tying run on a sacrifice fly after Sale plunked him. The lefthander’s day was done after the sixth and the Tigers went on to score five more runs and come away with a 6-1 victory.

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Fan interference helps give Victor Martinez home run (Video)

Victor Martinez fan interference

A fan’s interference in right field at Comerica Park helped give Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie Game 4 of their ALDS with the Oakland A’s at 4.

The original call on the field was a home run. Umpires met to review the play and upheld the original call. That seemed to be the correct decision.

There appeared to be definitive proof that Martinez’s ball was going past the yellow line above the right field fence even without the fan touching it. As long as a ball hits above the yellow line, it’s considered a home run.

There was some speculation that A’s right fielder Josh Reddick may have been able to rob the home run, but he appeared to be hitting the wall and running out of room as the ball was flying over the fence. He would have been close but likely come up short.

Below is a video and GIF of the home run:

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Grant Balfour, Victor Martinez trade F-bombs in fight (Video)

Oakland A’s closer Grant Balfour and Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez got into a verbal fight during the ninth inning of Monday’s ALDS Game 3 between the teams, and their words led to the benches clearing.

Balfour was in to close out the game with the A’s up 6-3 on the Tigers. He threw a 1-2 93 mph fastball that Martinez fouled off. Martinez looked over at the mound after the foul ball as if to let Balfour know he was on the pitcher’s fastball. That definitely bothered Balfour.

“The f— you looking at me for b—h?” Balfour could be heard saying.

Martinez sent the f-bombs right back, and the two started walking toward each other.

“The f— is your problem b—h?” Balfour continued, leading the umpire to separate them.

Both team’s benches cleared and the bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown.

Balfour wound up retiring Martinez after everything settled down. Warnings were issued to both sides.

MLB Network had to apologize for the audio getting out, and the A’s held on for the 6-3 win.

“If you’re going to stare me down, come on. That’s all I said. So he did. We had a jaw match. It’s all fun and games,” Balfour said after the game, per MLive.com’s James Schmehl.

“Obviously Balfour’s is a character on the mound, so there’s going to be some fireworks sometimes,” A’s first baseman Brandon Moss admitted after the game.

Moss is absolutely right. We’ve seen this act from Balfour more than a few times in the past.

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Victor Martinez needs eight stitches after cutting thumb on a bat rack

Victor-Martinez-TigersThe Detroit Tigers were anxious to get Victor Martinez back into their lineup this season after the slugger missed all of 2012 with a torn ACL. Martinez has played in six games for the Tigers this season, but he may already need to miss some game action.

This time, Martinez’s injury has nothing to do with his knee. Instead, he has been listed as day-to-day after cutting his finger on a bat rack. According to MLive.com’s James Schmehl, Martinez caught his thumb on a metal bolt on the team’s bat rack and suffered a cut that required eight stitches.

Accidents happen. Hopefully Martinez won’t have to miss much time, as it’s been a frustrating past year for him with injuries. Hey, at least the 34-year-old didn’t hurt himself in a fit of rage. We saw players miss time last year because they punched stuff not once, not twice, but three times. That’s the type of stuff that can be avoided. From the sound of it, Martinez just needs to be more careful around jagged stuff.

2011 MLB All-Star Game Snubs: American League

Compared to the National League All-Star team, the fans did a poor job voting on the American League team. Most of the reasonable complaints regarding snubs are from the AL team. We already gave you the All-Star Game snubs from the National League.

Here are the American League All-Star team snubs:

Jhonny Peralta over Derek Jeter at SS

This is a no-brainer. The fans vomited on themselves with this one, probably because a) Jeter is so popular and b) most of them don’t know who Peralta is. Asdrubal Cabrera made the team as the backup shortstop and he should be starting. Peralta should be the backup.

Paul Konerko over Michael Young as 1B/INF

Paul Konerko being left off the team is the biggest snub of MLB. He has a .954 OPS which is fourth-best in the entire AL. It’s a joke that he’s not on the team and it’s criminal that Ron Washington stuck him in the fan vote. Instead of carrying three catchers, Washington should have put Konerko on the team over either Martin or Wieters. At the least, he should be there over Young who is good but can’t mash the way Konerko can.

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MLB Hot Stove Analysis: Victor Martinez, Aubrey Huff

The Detroit Tigers are said to be close to signing free agent catcher Victor Martinez to a four-year $50 million deal.  Martinez, 32 in December, is coming off a .302/.351/.493 season for the Red Sox where he hit 20 home runs and drove in 79 runs, hitting in the middle of the Sox lineup.  He will  step in as the Tigers every day catcher for at least the first two years of the deal and perhaps shift to a Jorge Posada-like DH/catcher time share as he gets into the latter part of the deal.

This is a good signing for the Tigers, despite the long-term commitment, because they believe they have a two or three-year window of opportunity to win now, led by a core consisting of Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander.   Martinez has earned rave reviews throughout his career for his leadership and work ethic in Cleveland and Boston and will be a great addition to their club house.

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