The moment Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels I began wondering when T.J. Simers would saunter up to him and do his usual antagonistic shtick. The answer: yesterday. And what’s Hamilton’s awful transgression for which Simers demands answers: he smiles.
Uh-oh, we’ve got another smiler. This catches on and we won’t have any athletes around town who appear as if they give a rip … Worse yet, and you would hope there is a competitor brewing down deep there, Hamilton comes across like the poster child for every athlete who knows he has guaranteed money coming.
It’s never good when the fans seem to care more than the guys competing to win or lose.
Because everyone knows that a player who is struggling but looks upset and angry is better to have than a player who is struggling and looks calm. And everyone knows you can tell how much someone cares by how agitated they appear to be.
Hamilton hit two home runs in the past two games. Simers credits himself for that, of course. The guy is just … man.
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.