According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been suspended two games by MLB for arguing with umpires during Thursday’s game against the Pirates. Bench coach Trey Hillman will manage the final two games of the team’s weekend series against the Braves.
Thursday’s incident started after Matt Kemp was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Campos for arguing balls and strikes from the bench. Mattingly was tossed after coming out of the dugout to defend his center fielder.
Kemp certainly risked a suspension with his behavior, so all things considered, this situation could have played out a lot worse for the Dodgers. MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke with Mattingly on Friday and told him that his first priority should have been to get Kemp under control as opposed to arguing himself, so he’s essentially taking the hit for his player.
By the way, no word on if Campos will receive any discipline for his behavior in the situation.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.