Major League Baseball has suspended Jim Leyland for tonight’s game against the Rays. There is no appeals process for managers, so he’ll have to sit it out. Which is complete and utter b.s.
You’ll recall what led to this: Leyland’s altercation with umpire Marty Foster. You’ll recall the specifics: Foster blows a call — partially because he really wasn’t in a good position to make it — and Leyland argues. A bit of spittle or a sunflower seed flies from Leyland’s mouth, Harvey baselessly and quite ridiculously accuses Leyland of spitting on him and tosses him. Watch the video and you’ll see just how crazy that claim really is.
Of course I’m sure MLB will say that it wasn’t the altercation, it was Leyland’s critical words after the fact which led to his suspension. Never mind that Leyland was right. Never mind that umpires such as Joe West have routinely ripped teams and players and have instigated ugly incidents on the field this season without getting any discipline whatsoever. But the second a manager or a player dares point out the bleedin’ obvious — that today’s umpiring corps is filled with incompetent, thin-skinned megalomaniacs — he has to take the day off without pay.
Baseball does a lot of things right. Intellectual honesty and a basic sense of justice when it comes to issues relating to umpires is not one of those things.
In a recent interview with Jon Greenberg of The Athletic, White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier took a swipe at the Reds’ front office. The rebuilding Reds traded Frazier to the White Sox as part of a three-team deal this past December.
After the season, Frazier will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. Frazier told Greenberg he’d like to stay with the White Sox. He praised the club’s ownership and then, unprompted, he decided to castigate the Reds’ front office.
I would love to stay here. It’s a great club, great ownership. It was very different in Cincinnati, it wasn’t good. The bottom line here is these guys know what they’re doing. I see the guys [Hahn] gets, he’s not afraid to pull the trigger. You’ve got to have a guy like that. Whether it turns out to be for the best or not, you take a chance sometimes, and I think he’s done that a lot. It’s up to Jerry [Reinsdorf, owner] and Rick [Hahn, VP/GM] and their team to figure out what they want to do and it’s up to them.
It’s not clear if there are specific incidences to which Frazier could be alluding, but it’s a very obvious piece of criticism.
Frazier, 30, has regressed a bit offensively compared to the previous two seasons, batting .213/.295/.448 with 32 home runs and 81 RBI in 532 plate appearances. The White Sox could pursue trading him during the offseason.
Update (7:20 PM EDT): John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that Crisp has indeed been traded, but there won’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. Crisp has already left the Athletics’ clubhouse.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Athletics and Indians are making progress on a trade that would send outfielder Coco Crisp to Cleveland. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms Adams’ report. Crisp, who has 10-and-5 rights, has waived them in order to facilitate a deal.
Crisp, 36, is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary for the 2016 season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season that vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances or plays in 130 games this season. He has already played in 102 games and logged 434 PA, batting .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
The Indians are still looking to bolster the outfield. Michael Brantley is expected to miss the rest of the season, Bradley Zimmer may not yet be ready for the majors, and Abraham Almonte is not eligible to play in the postseason after testing positive for boldenone in February.