Don't even try to censor Ozzie Guillen

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Baseball is investigating some comments made by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen over the weekend.

On Sunday, Guillen was upset after watching three of his players get hit by pitches in a victory over the Cleveland Indians. Guillen acknowledged that he believed the plunkings were accidental, but nonetheless spouted off after the game, saying this:

“I have Konerko bruised all over the place,” he said. “Around the league, be careful because we’re going to hit people. I don’t care if I get suspended because I need to protect my players.”

It was a warning. If you hit my players on purpose, I’ll hit yours. Simple as that. So what is there to investigate exactly?

This isn’t the airport, where mentioning about how you got “bombed” the night before can get you tossed from the premises.

No, this is baseball, where Leo Durocher once said he wanted some “scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you,” and didn’t have to worry about being locked up for recruiting murderers.

Guillen, not surprisingly, isn’t about to back down.

“I can say whatever I want to say – as long as I’m not saying it about them,” the outspoken manager said. “I know the integrity of this game better than anybody. I’m very professional. But meanwhile, enough was enough.

While the idea of Guillen espousing his own professionalism might send Chicago media members into uncontrolled bouts of giggling, his basic argument is sound. You can’t punish someone for something that hasn’t happened.

Guillen is as entertaining as most major league managers are dry. They spout clichés, while he takes the pulpit and acts as if he’s running a longshoremen’s meeting. He says what he thinks, often in colorful language. And sometimes, he says too much. Big deal.

So don’t try to censor Ozzie Guillen. It’s not going to work anyway.

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If you Twitter, and aren’t afraid of the occasional brushback pitch, you can follow me at @bharks.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.