Franklin Gutierrez has left Mariners camp in Arizona and returned to Seattle to see a doctor about ongoing stomach problems.
According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times the Gold Glove-winning center fielder “has suffered from severe stomach pains since the second half of last season” and has been unable “to find out what the problem is” despite undergoing an endoscopy exam in Venezuela during the offseason.
Baker reports that Gutierrez’s condition is not considered serious at the moment and the Mariners are actually hopeful that he’ll be able to return to camp as soon as tomorrow, although obviously that depends on what, if anything, the doctor finds.
Gutierrez’s amazing defense was finally recognized with the Gold Glove award last season, but he struggled offensively and was particularly unproductive in the second half, which Baker speculates could be due to weight loss as a result of the stomach problems.
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.