Great Moments in Labor Relations: Keith Hernandez crosses picket line; gets taunted

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In the places I grew up the unions were strong but the strikes, when they happened, were somewhat out of sight of our day-to-day lives. I mean, regular folks don’t have to worry about crossing a picket line at a Chevy truck plant or a coal mine when they’re just trying to go about their day. Upshot: I was never quite sure of the politics of picket lines.

I know you shouldn’t cross them if you’re sympathetic to the cause.  But is that in all instances? Like, if they’re picketing at the grocery store is it enough to give them the thumbs up and shop anyway?  If not, do you go to the next nearest store? What if it’s a non-union shop?  There’s probably somewhere I can read about the etiquette on all of this, but I just don’t know how it works in practice.

And maybe Keith Hernandez doesn’t either. According to Ben Maller at Yahoo!’s The Postgame, it seems that Mex ate at a New York restaurant where the workers were on strike.  When he left, picketers gave him an earful. The best nugget: “Mark Teixeira is a better fielder.”  It’s funnier because it’s not true.

Anyway, Hernandez didn’t much care for it.  I hope he didn’t undermine the union cause.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.

The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.

The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.