Jason Bartlett will retire after 10 years in the big leagues

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Jason Bartlett will retire after ten seasons in the Major Leagues, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The Twins have asked him to reconsider, but it isn’t likely, Berardino adds.

Bartlett, 34, joined the Twins on a minor league deal over the off-season suffered an ankle injury on April 7 after replacing Josh Willingham, who was also injured. He was used almost exclusively as a shortstop throughout his career, showing adept defense despite not doing much with the bat. Over 3,521 career plate appearances, Bartlett has a career .702 OPS.

We at Hardball Talk wish Bartlett the best as he heads into retirement.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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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.