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Volume 26 No. 64
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MLB Objects To Critical Umpires Union Posts On Machado Suspension

MLB said that "scathing comments" from the MLB Umpires Association about Padres 3B Manny Machado and his one-game suspension were "not appropriate ... after the union posted messages to social media blasting the disciplinary action and Machado's behavior during an argument with an umpire," according to Des Bieler of the WASHINGTON POST. Machado was "suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for what MLB described as 'aggressively arguing and making contact'" with home plate umpire Bill Welke after being "called out on a third strike." In comments posted to its official Facebook account yesterday, the MLBUA "ripped the suspension as insufficient, calling it 'a slap in the face of all umpires and a disgrace to the game itself.'" One post read, "It is NOT okay to throw a temper tantrum and physically touch someone of authority, just because you don't agree. Violence in all workplaces is not tolerated. Period." The MLBUA also posted to Twitter yesterday -- a tweet in which it made "similar comments while adding hashtags including, '#Violence,' '#TemperTantrum,' '#RepeatOffender' and '#Nonsense.'" MLB in a statement responded it believes it is "inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/19).

ULTERIOR MOTIVE? ESPN's Jeff Passan noted MLB and the MLBUA are "in the middle of a negotiation and in past negotiations, the umpires' union has gotten its lunch handed to it regularly." This was a "shot across the bow from the umpires' union saying, 'We're not going to roll over this time. We're going to stand up for what we believe in.'" But when "what they believe in is something like this and they're taking a position that unites" MLB and the MLBPA, that "shows you the ridiculousness that we're dealing with here." Passan added this incident "shows that the umpires' association wants a fight and if they want a fight, they are going to get one" from MLB ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/18).

RENEWED CALLS: In San Diego, Jeff Sanders notes the MLBUA's posts yesterday have "shined a new light on what players believe is a lack of accountability for the on-field arbiters of the game's rules." Padres 1B Eric Hosmer said, "If they want to make statements like this, they need to be accountable for what they are doing. Whatever results they are having, whether they are good or bad, need to be out there, the same way it is for us." Padres 2B Ian Kinsler "echoed Hosmer's sentiment that some form of accountability is needed, perhaps not all that different from a system that sends underperforming players to the minor leagues" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/19).