Craig Calcaterra

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Craig Calcaterra

The Padres were fined as a result of A.J. Preller’s medical records shenanigans

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Yesterday Padres general manager A.J. Preller was suspended for 30 days without pay for his role in the Padres hiding players’ medical information from trade partners. At the time, Preller’s suspension was the only discipline mentioned by Major League Baseball. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports today, however, that in addition to the suspension, the Padres were fined an undisclosed amount.

It probably wasn’t a lot. At least not enough to cause a baseball club to feel a pinch. And Preller’s suspension will likely not cause a lot of grief for the club, at least immediately. The Padres season is almost over and no personnel moves of consequence can be made until after the postseason is over, by which time Preller will be back.

The real penalty here will be the trades Preller is unable to make because opposing general managers don’t trust him. Which seems like a huge deal. And which makes the Padres’ decision to not further discipline or terminate Preller curious indeed.

In case you were unclear that the Cubs clinched the division last night

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13:  The Wrigley Field marquee shows "Cubs Win" after the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four to win the National League Divisional Series on October 13, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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One of my favorite things about September baseball are the lineups in games after a team clinches the division. It’s especially good if the clinch happened late at night and the next game is a day game. That’s what happened with the Cubs last night, as they did not actually clinch until the Giants-Cardinals game had ended in San Francisco. They play the Brewers this afternoon. Which leads to this:

And here I thought Tommy La Stella didn’t want to play in any minor league games.

Ryan Howard will play a lot in the Phillies final home games

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies gestures to teammate Carlos Ruiz #51 after scoring on Ruiz's single during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Recently things got grumbly between Ryan Howard and the Phillies as Howard’s playing time was reduced. He’s clearly on his way out of Philly and, as a wise man once said, everything ends badly; otherwise it wouldn’t end.

But there’s at least some chance that Howard’s end will be somewhat enjoyable for him. Pete Mackanin said yesterday that the first baseman will start Howard in each of the final two home weekends, at least against righthanders. Previously Mackanin said that Tommy Joseph would get those starts too, but he reversed course, acknowledging that Howard deserves a sendoff and that a handful of at bats for Joseph wouldn’t matter.

That’s the right call. Howard may not have been the player everyone hoped he’d be these past few years, but he is still loved by Phillies fans for what he did before. They deserve the chance to cheer him one last time and he deserves the chance to hear those cheers.