Randy Wolf is attempting a comeback at age 37 after missing all of last season and it’ll be with the Mariners, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that he’s agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Wolf hasn’t pitched since September of 2012 because of Tommy John elbow surgery and posted a 5.68 ERA that season before going under the knife, but after a 14-year career spent as a starter he’s apparently willing to shift to the bullpen.
Wolf hasn’t had particularly extreme platoon splits for a left-handed pitcher and struggled to crack 90 miles per hour even before the surgery, but certainly a relief workload would give him a better chance to stick around for another season or two.
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.