Last week umpire Phil Cuzzi incorrectly called out Jayson Werth on a play at first base in the ninth inning of a 1-0 loss to the Mets, at which point Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo allegedly sought out the crew as they were leaving the field and had a verbal altercation.
Cuzzi filed a complaint against Rizzo and several Nationals players, and yesterday MLB handed down some punishments. Details are sparse, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Rizzo was “disciplined” and Ivan Rodriguez was fined “an undisclosed amount.”
Rizzo has yet to comment on the undisclosed discipline, but said previously that the incident with umpires was not a result of the blown call on Werth. If true that almost makes the whole thing sound worse, as it means he was seeking out umpires to scream at about something else.
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.