Mike Napoli scratched Saturday due to minor groin issue

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From MLB.com’s Joey Nowak comes word that Rangers catcher Mike Napoli had to be scratched from Saturday’s Cactus League game against the White Sox due to a “nagging left groin issue.”

Rangers trainers called the decision “precautionary,” and Rangers manager Ron Washington assured reporters in camp that “there’s no concern.”

Napoli is a little behind the other everyday players at the Rangers’ spring training complex due to a high ankle sprain that he suffered in Game 6 of the World Series. But he’s mostly recovered from that, and this groin thing represents only a minor setback. The 30-year-old slugger should be fine for Opening Day.

Napoli hit .320/.414/.631 with 30 home runs and 75 RBI in 432 plate appearances last season.

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.