It is well-known that the Indians are looking for starting pitching as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer, but they weren’t willing to part with third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall for Cubs starter Matt Garza, reports Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Chisenhall, still just 24 years old, has had an up-and-down year, spending a month with Triple-A Columbus between May 14 and June 16 where he dominated opposing pitching. In 183 plate appearances in the Majors this year, he has posted a .708 OPS. He was one of the top prospects in baseball in 2010 and 2011 and the team thinks he still has plenty of time and ability to figure things out.
The Rangers and Cubs were reportedly close to a Garza swap yesterday, but negotiations hit a snag. Reports still indicate the two sides are very close on an agreement, but the Cubs are still shopping Garza around to other suitors in the meantime. Garza is scheduled to make his next start on July 22 against the Diamondbacks, but he is expected to have a new set of laundry by then.
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.