Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury has the Yankees searching for a short-term replacement at first base and David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that they’re trying to talk Derrek Lee into coming out of retirement.
Lee sat out all of last season after failing to get an offer he liked, but according to Waldstein the 37-year-old has some interest in playing for the Yankees.
Lee split the 2011 season between the Orioles and Pirates, hitting .267 with 19 homers and a .771 OPS in 113 games. He had similar numbers in 2010.
Obviously a 37-year-old who didn’t play at all last season and posted a sub-.800 OPS in 2010 and 2011 is hardly an ideal pickup, but at this late stage in the offseason there just isn’t much to choose from in terms of veteran bats who can also capably play first base on a regular basis (in other words, not Jim Thome).
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.