The benches cleared in Friday’s Giants-Rangers game

208 Comments

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Madison Bumgarner got mad at a player for tossing his bat in frustration. Delino DeShields popped out to second base to end the fourth inning. He was upset at himself, so he tossed his bat with some oomph. This didn’t sit well with Bumgarner, who jawed at DeShields, causing the benches to empty. He got into a shouting match with Adrian Beltre amid the altercation.

Among the players Bumgarner has taken issue with for reacting in any way at all to something that happened on the field:

  • Jesus Guzman, May 2013: Bumgarner didn’t like Guzman’s smug celebration after hitting a home run in a game he didn’t start, so he intentionally threw at Guzman the next day. [Sports Illustrated]
  • Yasiel Puig, May 2014: Bumgarner didn’t like Puig’s bat flip after he hit a home run, so he yelled at the outfielder. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Puig again, September 2014: Bumgarner hit Puig with a pitch and he didn’t like how Puig reacted to that, so he needlessly escalated a confrontation. [HardballTalk]
  • Alex Guerrero, April 2015: Bumgarner didn’t like Alex Guerrero expressing dissatisfaction after popping up a pitch, so he shouted, “You’re not that good” at him. [ESPN]
  • Carlos Gomez, May 2015: Bumgarner didn’t like that Gomez shouted in frustration after fouling off a pitch he thought he should have hit better, so the lefty tossed his next pitch way inside, nearly hitting Gomez. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Delino DeShields, July, 2015: This what one might describe as a “trend”.

Perhaps manager Bruce Bochy should have a talk with the lefty.

Major League Baseball threatens to walk away from Minor League Baseball entirely

Getty Images
1 Comment

The war between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball escalated significantly last night, with Minor League Baseball releasing a memo accusing Major League Baseball of “repeatedly and inaccurately” describing the former’s stance in negotiations and Major League Baseball responding by threatening to cut ties with Minor League Baseball entirely.

As you’re no doubt aware, negotiations of the next, 10-year Professional Baseball Agreement, which governs the relationship between the big leagues and the minors — and which is set to expire following the 2020 season — have turned acrimonious. Whereas past negotiations have been quick and uncontroversial, this time Major League Baseball presented Minor League Baseball with a plan to essentially contract 42 minor league baseball teams by eliminating their major league affiliation while demanding that Minor League Baseball undertake far more of the financial burden of player development which is normally the responsibility of the majors.

That plan became public in October when Baseball America reported on it, after which elected officials such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren began weighing in on the side of Minor League Baseball. Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball were not happy with all of that and, on Wednesday, Manfred bashed Minor League Baseball for taking the negotiations public and accused Minor League Baseball of intransigence, saying the minors had assumed a “take it or leave it” negotiating stance.

Last night Minor League Baseball bashed back in the form of a four-page public memo countering Manfred’s claims, with point-point-by-point rebuttals of Major League Baseball’s talking points on various matters ranging from stadium facilities, team travel, and player health and welfare. You can read the memo in this Twitter thread from Josh Norris of Baseball America.

Major League Baseball responded with its own public statement last night. But rather than publicly rebut Minor League Baseball’s claims, it threatened to simply drop any agreement with Minor League Baseball and, presumably start its own minor league system bypassing MiLB entirely:

“If the National Association [of Minor League Clubs] has an interest in an agreement with Major League Baseball, it must address the very significant issues with the current system at the bargaining table. Otherwise, MLB clubs will be free to affiliate with any minor league team or potential team in the United States, including independent league teams and cities which are not permitted to compete for an affiliate under the current agreement.”

So, in the space of about 48 hours, Manfred has gone from being angry at the existence of public negotiations to negotiating in public, angrily.

As for Minor League Baseball going public itself, one Minor League Baseball owner’s comments to the Los Angeles Times seems to sum up the thinking pretty well:

“Rob is attempting to decimate the industry, destroy baseball in communities and eliminate thousands of jobs, and he’s upset that the owners of the teams have gone public with that information in an effort to save their teams. That’s rich.”

Things, it seems, are going to get far worse before they get better. If, in fact, they do get better.