Mike Matheny is “increasingly and bizarrely petulant”

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Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of the best local sports columnists in the country and also doesn’t engage in the shouting and trolling and overall buffoonery of so many big names in the same industry, so when he criticizes Cardinals manager Mike Matheny like this it made me take notice:

The increasingly and bizarrely petulant manager Mike Matheny resorted to spitting out one-word answers and tapping impatiently on the interview podium in a childish response to reasonable postgame questions.

In fairness to Matheny he’d just watched a blowout loss to the rival Reds in which Adam Wainwright had one of the worst starts of his career. Of course, Miklasz noted in the same column that Wainwright had a much different response to reporters asking about the ugly game:

Wainwright — as usual — gave mature, thoughtful, forthright adult answers when asked about his condition.

Matheny doesn’t want to talk about the possibility of Wainwright’s heavy workload causing him to wear down, but when a pitcher has a league-high five complete games and struggles immediately following a 128-pitch start it’s certainly a reasonable topic of inquiry. On the other hand, at least Matheny didn’t lash out and angrily call any reporters names.

Miguel Sano suspended one game for altercation with Tigers

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Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.

On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.

Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.

Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.

Matt Barnes suspended four games for throwing at Manny Machado

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.

Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.

The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.