Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate the dustup between Joe West and the White Sox during yesterday’s White Sox-Indians game. I found this quote from discipline czar Bob Watson rather illuminating:
“We have either an umpire supervisor or umpire observer at
every game,” said Watson. “We will review all information available and
make a determination on what needs to be done.”
That suggest to me that they’re investigating West, not just figuring out whether Ozzie Guillen needs to be fined (why else would the umpire supervisor get mentioned?). Of course since Major League Baseball never announces umpire discipline we may not know what happens to West, but I’m encouraged that they at least appear to be open to the possibility that he acted like a horse’s ass yesterday.
In other news, The Common Man — who has been on a roll with this umpire business lately — has a post up over at IIATMS asking whether Joe West has bigger problems than his on-field behavior. Like, say, using his fame as an umpire to boost his country music career.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.