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Report: Chris Sale could be punished for throwing behind Manny Machado

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Update (4:57 PM ET): Rosenthal says he made a leap suggesting that Sale would “likely” be punished.

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On Tuesday, drama between the Orioles and Red Sox continued. For those that aren’t up to speed on the situation: On April 21 in Baltimore, Manny Machado slid hard into second base trying to break up a double play attempt. In doing so, he slid into Dustin Pedroia, injuring him. Two days later, reliever Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Machado’s head. He was ejected immediately and was handed a four-game suspension shortly thereafter. The two clubs opened up another series with each other on Monday and there was mostly no drama. Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy did hit Mookie Betts with a pitch, but it appeared to be unintentional. On Tuesday, in the first inning, Sox starter Chris Sale threw a fastball behind Machado, clearly intending to hit him. Both teams were given warnings. After the game, Machado expressed his displeasure with Sale and the Red Sox as an organization.

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said that Sale will likely be punished for his actions. Torre was on a conference call with commissioner Rob Manfred as well as the managers and general managers of both teams.

Torre said, “Players deserve to be on the field. We appreciate your passion but we certainly need to have the focus on playing games instead of trying to get even, if somebody thinks they need to get even.”

Torre’s full comments can be found in Rosenthal’s article.

Sale should be suspended. If he is, it should be long enough to serve as an actual detriment. If the punishment is, for example, a five-game suspension, the Red Sox can just shuffle their rotation around a bit and it will be as if Sale didn’t miss any time at all. If players are losing half the season for failing a drug test, they should lose as much time for endangering their peers.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.