Roy Halladay may not be done after all

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With his fastball reportedly back in the 89-92 mph range, Roy Halladay limited the Orioles to one run and three hits in six innings Tuesday, lowering his spring ERA from 10.57 to 6.59.

Halladay, who had given up five homers in three spring starts, allowed just one extra-base hit, an Adam Jones double, in this one. He struck out five and walked none.

Halladay was working at 87-89 mph while giving up five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Twins six days ago. Today’s radar gun readings were closer to his usual norm; Halladay averaged 91.3 mph with his fastball last year. Phillies fans and fantasy owners should both be pleased.

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.