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MLB says managers need to cool it on arguing

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SAN DIEGO (AP) Major League Baseball is telling managers to cool it on arguing balls and strikes, and warning them not to rely on replay help to bolster their beefs.

MLB executive Joe Torre sent a memo Friday to managers, general managers and assistant general managers that said: “This highly inappropriate conduct is detrimental to the game and must stop immediately.”

The memo was obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.

“Although disagreements over ball and strike calls are natural, the prevalence of manager ejections simply cannot continue,” Torre wrote. “This conduct not only delays the game, but it also has the propensity to undermine the integrity of the umpires on the field.”

Torre, a Hall of Fame manager and former NL MVP, said skippers are increasingly relying on technology from the clubhouse or video room to argue from the dugout. Every pitch and play is monitored by teams in case they want to challenge for a replay review.

He called that “an express violation of the Replay Regulations, which state that `on-field personnel in the dugout may not discuss any issue with individuals in their video review room using the dugout phone other than whether to challenge a play subject to video replay review.”‘

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus was ejected for arguing balls and strikes and covered home plate with a sweat shirt earlier this season, and Boston manager John Farrell was tossed during an animated dispute alongside Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

Earlier this month, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected while arguing from the dugout.

And as recently as Friday night, Oakland manager Bob Melvin and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy got tossed for arguing balls and strikes along with players on their respective teams.

Torre concluded by advising that any manager or coach ejected for arguing balls and strikes “hereafter will be disciplined, including at least a fine.”

It sounds like a Manny Machado deal is all but done

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It occurs to me that maybe one of the reasons for all of the incremental rumors about Manny Machado that I mentioned earlier this morning is that he’s . . . already traded? Basically anyway?

I say this based on the latest report from Olney in which he says that the Orioles have the structure of a Manny Machado trade in place and are “going through the medicals/paperwork portion of the transaction.” He quickly adds that the Dodgers “have been very invested” in pursuing Machado but that “a deal is not finished yet.”

Here’s the actual tweet, since we’re parsing words:

As someone who has read trade rumors like it’s his job for the past decade, mostly because it is his job, here’s what Olney’s tweet says to me (and yes, this is all speculation, but it makes a ton of sense):

1. The Orioles have agreed to trade Machado, probably to the Dodgers since they’re mentioned first, but no one has given Buster the OK to actually report it as a done deal. The “not finished yet” is protection, showing that he didn’t spill the beans, but the mention of the Dodgers is a wink to folks to let them know that, yep, he knows what time it is;

2. They probably haven’t given him the OK to report it as a done deal because they want Machado to appear in the All-Star Game as an Oriole;

3. The second he’s removed from the game tonight, the news goes public. Or, if MLB is putting its finger on the scale and doesn’t want to distract from the All-Star Game, the second the game is over. Personally, though, if I was MLB I’d let the news come out during the game because people will stay tuned to wait for it.

Anyway, like I said, speculation. But I feel like it’s right.