Sad news here on Angels reliever Sean Burnett.
MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that the left-hander was diagnosed Wednesday with a torn UCL in his pitching elbow and will probably need season-ending Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. Burnett underwent his first Tommy John surgery in 2004 when he was a member of the Pirates.
The 31-year-old signed a two-year, $8 million free agent contract with the Angels in December 2012 after establishing himself as a reliable left-handed reliever in four productive years out of the Nationals’ bullpen. But he pitched just 9 2/3 innings in his first season with Anaheim and had made only three appearances this year. Burnett owns a 3.53 career major league ERA.
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.