Charlie Manuel suspended for bumpin' an ump

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Phillies’ skipper Charlie Manuel argued balls and strikes with world’s worst umpire C.B. Bucknor on Tuesday night, his hat apparently brushed Bucknor’s head and now Manuel has been suspended for one game for “aggressive
arguing and inappropriate contact.”

Whatever. C.B. Bucknor couldn’t call a strike on the strikingest day of his life with an electrified strike machine, so he deserved Manuel getting all up in his business. The only thing I can’t figure out is how Bucknor even saw Cholly’s cap hit his head.

For his part, Manuel has issued a statement about the incident:*

Boy howdy, I’m not one to get sore, but when this wise guy tried to give me the high hat I was seein’ red.  So’s I start in, see, and he comes back with his “ya betta watchyaself, Cholly” rebob, and that’s when I flipped my lid. The last person who told me to watch myself was my ‘ma, and last I peeped, this eephus wasn’t sweet and wonderful like she was, so I called applesauce on the palooka’s jive, ya follow?

Lord love a duck, but if givin’ C.B. Bucknor the business is wrong I don’t wanna be right.  As for the suspension, I’ll dangle for a game in Pittsburgh just swell. Yinzers is my kind of people anyways. Give me some free time there any day of the week and twice on Sunday, and I can do things up just jake, see?

That’s all I got boys, the train’s leaving.

*This statement was relayed psychically, only to me, via the little voice in Charlie Manuel’s head that says the things I like to imagine him saying.

Athletics hire third base coach Matt Williams

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The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.

Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.

Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.

While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.

“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”