Bob Davidson, the umpire with the absolute worst temperament in the game of baseball, has been suspended for a game by Major League Baseball. Why? For poor “situation handling.”
Umpire Bob Davidson has received a one-game suspension for his repeated violations of the Office of the Commissioner’s standards for situation handling, Major League Baseball announced today.
This is clearly the result of his run-in with Charlie Manuel the other day when, after Manuel barked something from the dugout, Davidson made a point to unleash an obnoxious and defensive expletive-filled rant at Manuel. Which is nothing new for Davidson. He has repeatedly picked fights with players and managers over the years, escalating situations that should have been innocuous and otherwise not acting like the voice of reason and authority that an official in any capacity — be they umpire, referee, judge, cop, teacher or parent — should be.
In case you haven’t guessed, I am pleased at the suspension. I am even more pleased at the fact that MLB has announced this discipline to the world rather than keep it quiet. The best way to improve officiating is to impose such discipline and to do so in a transparent manner.
Now: if only it was for more than one game …
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.