MLB fines Tony La Russa for in-game criticism of umpires

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MLB has fined Cardinals manager Tony La Russa an undisclosed amount for his criticism of umpires during a between-innings television interview Sunday, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

In speaking to the TBS announcers, La Russa said of home plate umpire Jerry Meals: “I would add–which could get me in trouble, but I’m going to add anyway–is that we are pitching to two different strike zones.”

Well, he was right about the “get me in trouble” part. La Russa met yesterday with MLB vice president for on-field operations Joe Torre, but the manager declined to comment afterward.

Strauss reports that the fine was “four figures,” so while it isn’t enough to put a dent in La Russa’s bank account it’ll probably be enough to keep him quiet.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.