In the 28th round of the MLB first-year player draft, the Padres selected Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M University, 837th overall. You are more familiar with him from his exploits in football — the Cleveland Browns drafted him in the first round, 22nd overall, of the recent NFL draft.
It’s not unheard of for a team to draft a two-sport star where baseball is clearly on the back burner. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft and reported to Single-A Tri-City. He posted a .713 OPS in 143 plate appearances. The next season, he finished with a .708 OPS in 236 PA for Single-A Asheville.
As with Wilson, you can expect Manziel to focus on football rather than baseball.
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.