The Diamondbacks are likely done shopping

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After confirming the signings of Xavier Nady and Henry Blanco earlier today, Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that he is essentially done with his offseason shopping list.

“I’d say there’s a good chance,” Towers said about making no more moves this winter. “We’ve kind of addressed all our needs. Our last two were backup catcher and we needed a right-handed bat. It’s not to say that we won’t add any more pieces before the start of the season, but if we had to start today we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at.”

Towers has certainly put an imprint on his new team in a short amount of time. Though he received more attention for not trading Justin Upton, he swapped Mark Reynolds for David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio, acquired Juan Miranda from the Yankees and Zach Duke from the Pirates and signed J.J. Putz, Melvin Mora, Geoff Blum and Wily Mo Pena, as well as the aforementioned Nady and Blanco. That’s quite a bit of turnover.

The Diamondbacks don’t look like a playoff contender as currently constituted, but it’s hard to imagine them being worse than they were in 2010. I mean, how many games could they have won if their bullpen ERA was the league average (3.98) instead of an obscene 5.74? I’m guessing quite a few. If there’s anything we know about Towers, the bullpen will be better.

Manny Machado rips MLB Network talking heads over double standards

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Manny Machado has had his fair share of controversies. There was the stuff about his lack of hustle last fall. He’s thrown bats and ran into and over guys and has argued with umpires and all of that stuff. Is he well-liked? Not really. Is he a dirty player? Some say so. But even if you don’t say so, he’s been involved in some dirty plays and he’s rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. We chronicled much of that last fall.

But he’s certainly not the only guy who has done that sort of thing before. Others have and, I think it’s fair to say, others have not caught as much flak for it as he has. There are reasons for that too, of course. Part of it is that a couple of Machado’s transgressions came in very high-profile situations like last year’s playoffs. Part of it is that he’s a big star who makes a lot of money and guys like that tend to get more attention and heat than others. Part of it is that a lot people simply don’t like Machado for whatever reason.

Machado talked at length about that last night when he took to Instagram to mock MLB Network analysts Eric Byrnes and Dan Plesac, who were going on about the Jake Marisnick plunking and his barreling into Jonathan Lucroy that led to it. Byrnes and Plesac were defending Marisnick. Machado noted that he would never have gotten that kind of defense had it been him doing the barreling instead of Marisnick.

Watch (warning: NSFW language):

 

I don’t think he’s wrong about that. Again, some of it would be justified in that Machado does have a reputation and when you have a reputation you don’t get as much benefit of the doubt. But it’s also the case that Machado was not getting much benefit of the doubt — including from these guys in particular — well before that reputation was established.

Over at the Big Lead, they found examples of Byrnes going after Machado way back in 2014. Machado’s transgressions have, from the beginning, been cast as a those of a dirty, hotheaded player who lacks class. Other players who have done exactly what Machado has done often get excused for showing “passion” and “competitiveness” or for “playing hard” instead of “playing dirty” even when there isn’t all that much actual difference between the acts in question.

Machado says it’s attributable, at least in part, to him being Latino. I think people can reasonably disagree on the question of whether Machado, personally, has been unfairly judged. But I think it’s pretty indisputable that, generally, Latino players get way, way, way less benefit of the doubt for “hard play” vs. “dirty play” and for being “hotheaded” as opposed to being “competitors” than non-Latinos get. Those stereotypes are well-established. Academic research has been conducted on that stuff, confirming such inherent bias on the part of white commentators. Some of Machado’s peers in the game have said the same thing, both in general, and about Machado’s treatment personally.

Which is to say, whether or not Machado has earned the treatment he gets, he has a point here.