Phillies broadcasters Tom McCarthy, Jamie Moyer, and Matt Stairs are broadcasting Friday night’s game between the Phillies and Braves from center field. Only a few minutes after McCarthy had finished the introduction to the game, he was involved in the game. Keep in mind that this is the first time in the history of Citizens Bank Park that the broadcast has been done anywhere but the booth behind the plate.
Starter Kyle Kendrick allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, as B.J. Upton singled and Andrelton Simmons walked. Freddie Freeman promptly blasted a three-run home run to the left of center field, directly at the trio of broadcasters. McCarthy, with glove on hand, reached up and caught the home run. After some encouragement from the fans around him, McCarthy fired the ball back onto the field.
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.