San Diego’s trade for Jason Bartlett “is off, at least for now”

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Yesterday the Padres and Rays seemingly had agreed on a deal that would send shortstop Jason Bartlett to San Diego for relievers Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell.

At one point several sources described the trade as completed, pending the usual physical exams and paperwork, and when contacted by reporters Bartlett indicated the Rays had told him it was a done deal.

However, now Jerry Crasnick and Buster Olney of ESPN.com report that the trade “is off, at least for now, because the teams couldn’t finalize the deal.” According to the report the swap “is in limbo, but it’s not dead.”

Baltimore was said to be in the mix for Bartlett, but the Orioles have instead traded for J.J. Hardy to fill their need at shortstop, so if the Bartlett deal falls apart the Rays will have on fewer potential fallback option.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.