Major League Baseball gave a five-game suspension to Manny Machado after he chucked his bat in the direction of A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson on June 8 at Camden Yards. Machado appealed that suspension immediately to remain active, and his case is finally going to be heard on Wednesday in Baltimore according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette will be in attendance with Machado at the hearing, which is expected to yield a ruling sometime this weekend. Kubatko says the Orioles, “citing precedents, are confident that Machado’s suspension will be reduced.”
The problem is there aren’t many precedents to so blatantly throwing a bat at an opposing player on the follow-through of a swing — an action that led to both benches clearing. Here’s the video …
Donaldson put a hard tag on Machado two days earlier and A’s reliever Fernando Abad threw inside twice during the plate appearance that led to the bat toss, but Machado’s behavior was still pretty childish.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.