Major League Baseball said it was inappropriate for the umpire’s union to comment on the one-game suspension levied against San Diego Padres star Manny Machado for his conduct following his ejection for arguing a called third strike Saturday at Colorado.
The MLB Umpires Association said in a tweet Tuesday that Machado was suspended for contact with an umpire “and VIOLENTLY throwing his bat against the backstop with absolutely no regard to anyone’s safety.” The tweet added that “Violence in the workplace is not tolerated” and asked “Is this truly what MLB wants to teach our youth?”
The tweet was accompanied by the hashtags #Disappointed #LeadByExample #NotAppreciated #Violence #TemperTantrum #Inaction #NotTolerated #MakeanExampleof #OneGameSuspension #RepeatOffender and #Nonsense.
MLB said in a statement that MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre “considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.
“Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
Machado, who signed a $300 million, 10-year contract during spring training, claims he did not touch plate ump Bill Welke during their argument.
After being ejected for disputing a called third strike in the fifth inning, the slugger slammed his batting helmet to the ground and jawed with Welke. Manager Andy Green and third base coach Glenn Hoffman eased Machado away from the argument, and then the four-time All-Star flung his bat. Green was ejected an inning later.
“Honestly, you know, I’m just waiting for my appeal, waiting for MLB and Joe Torre to get back to me, honestly just waiting for my hearing to plead my case and that’s all we’re going to worry about,” Machado said before Tuesday night’s game against Milwaukee. “I’ve got MLB and the Padres and ownership behind me on this. We’re just all on the same page and we’re going to move forward from this.”
Machado declined comment when asked if he thought the umpires’ tweet was unprofessional.
He chuckled when asked if he felt he was being targeted.
“Honestly, baseball‘s been going on for a lot of years, been going on for a hundred some years and it’s going to continue to keep going and we go out there and we play baseball and we enjoy ourselves every day,” he responded. “At this point we’re just waiting for my hearing. MLB put something in place to handle things like this.”
Green said the Padres would let the MLB statement stand for them.
“We know what Manny’s been for us since he’s been here,” he said. “He’s been an unbelievable leader, a great teammate, a great clubhouse presence. You can go to every single person in that clubhouse and to a man they’ll tell you that they love him, they love him on their team and he’s shown nothing but integrity since he’s been here. We’re thrilled he’s a Padre. He’s devoted and sold out to giving this city a winner.”
On April 2, Welke called Machado out in an unusual batter’s interference call against Arizona after he dropped his bat near John Ryan Murphy as the Diamondbacks catcher tried to catch a popup. That disputed decision led to Green’s ejection.
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