MLB calls umpires association's Manny Machado statement 'inappropriate' on two different levels
MLBUA had plenty to say on Machado receiving just a one-game suspension, and its statement has drawn blowback
On Monday, Major League Baseball suspended San Diego Padres star Manny Machado for one game following an ejection over the weekend. To quote MLB, Machado was suspended for "aggressively arguing and making contact" with home-plate umpire Bill Welke following a borderline strike call on a 2-2 pitch from Colorado Rockies starter German Marquez.
Predictably, Machado was displeased with the punishment. He maintains that he did not touch Welke, and believes that video of the incident will lead to his suspension being overturned. "We're going to appeal it, and we think we've got a good case," he said, according to MLB.com.
Machado isn't the only one upset with how MLB handled things, either. The MLB Umpires Association tweeted a statement on Tuesday, and -- well, it's best if you read it for yourself:
The MLBUA then took to its Facebook page for more:
Tony Clark, head of the players union, issued this response:
Finally, MLB itself released this statement:
"Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who 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."
To some extent, you can understand where the union is coming from in sticking up for one of its own in Welke. Players cannot (and should not) be permitted to intimidate umpires. Still, the presentation and tone leave a lot to be desired -- and that's without noting that 1) it isn't clear if Machado made contact with Welke, and 2) that Welke seemingly had too quick of a hook.
Discretion is a pivotal part of excelling in a thankless job. That's true of umpiring, and also, evidently, social media work. Here's hoping everyone involved here can learn from this and do better next time.
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