Baseball rarely if ever comments publicly on umpire discipline, so when it was announced that Joe West was being fined the other day that was (a) big news; and (b) evidence that he really screwed up.
What, then, to make of this from Bob Watson, baseball’s director of discipline?
A Major League Baseball official says umpire Bill Hohn will be addressed
“in a very stern way” after a confrontation with Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt.
Sure, you could say that a reprimand, which is what this sounds like, is kind of a nothing punishment. But to think that is to misunderstand how institutional punishments tend to work. You give reprimands — and, more importantly, make statements like this announcing the reprimands — to lay the groundwork for escalated discipline later.
As many noted in the Oswalt thread yesterday, Hohn has had a history of bad behavior. Baseball, it seems to me, is acknowledging that here, and is hopefully setting the stage for more severe action later, when he inevitably messes up and lets his ego run wild again.
Maybe that’s not as satisfying as tying him to a stake, smearing honey on him and letting the red ants run free, but it’s about as much as we can hope from Major League Baseball when it comes to umpire discipline.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.