Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer checks in with an update on Carlos Santana’s progress trying to transition from catcher to third base and … well, it ain’t going perfectly:
Right now, Lonnie Chisenhall and every other third basemen in camp look better than Santana when it comes to defense.
No.1 Santana hasn’t gotten a lot of chances. No. 2 when he gotten a chance, he’s s looked stiff and uncomfortable. Maybe things will improve when he starts playing two or three games in a row.
Also of note is that Hoynes suggests the fallback plan for Santana if things don’t work at third base is to become the full-time designated hitter rather than moving back to catcher, where Yan Gomes has apparently cemented his status as the starter.
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.