Terry Francona fined, avoids a suspension, for his dustup with Joe West

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Terry Francona was tossed from last Friday’s game after arguing an Angel Hernandez balk call (Really? Angel Hernandez called a controversial balk? Shocking.)  In the course of that fracas, Francona and Joe West went at it a bit and bumped into each other several times, mostly at Joe West’s instigation, it seemed.

The disciplinary verdict is in: Francona was fined an undisclosed amount, but he will not be suspended. And based on Francona’s comments as reported in the Boston Herald today, it sounds like Joe West may have been hit harder than Francona got hit:

Francona declined to reveal the amount but praised MLB personnel for having “a pretty good sense of humor about it.” Francona said he told Matt McKendry, specialist of on-field operations, “ ‘I’ll pay it when I get to New York,’ and he said he doesn’t want any Canadian money, even though I think it’s worth more than ours.” Francona said he thought that “(West) should have fouled out, I thought I took the charge.”

I’ve complained in the past that umpires should get disciplined for their bad behavior too. I’ve been told by those inside the game, however, that they do get disciplined, even if we don’t hear much about it. Why we don’t hear much about it is another topic — my guess; the league worries that a long disciplinary record against an ump may erode the respect players have for them — but it’s good to know that they get smacked too.

And if the guys in the league office are joking around with Francona about all of this and not suspending him despite contact with an umpire, you can probably assume that West’s wallet is a lot lighter right now.

Astros release Jon Singleton

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The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.