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Troy Tulowitzki will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs in his heels

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Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will miss at least eight weeks of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery to remove “bilateral heel bone spurs” in both of his feet, the team announced Friday. Tulowitzki was officially placed on the 60-day disabled list on Thursday and is scheduled to undergo treatment on Monday. He’s expected to spend six of the eight weeks rehabbing off the field.

Bone spurs have been a chronic irritant for the 33-year-old infielder over the past decade, albeit never to the point where they required surgical removal. This time, they developed in his right heel prior to spring training and lingered for several weeks, effectively keeping him off the field and out of any Grapefruit League games. Club GM Ross Atkins told reporters Friday that he believed Tulowitzki was making progress with the issue during camp, but supported the shortstop’s decision to undergo surgery after the spurs began to surface in his left heel as well. “We had five ankle/foot specialists talk to him,” Atkins said. “Three different physical meetings with specialists. At this point, without conservative treatment working, this is the next step.”

This will be the second straight season in which Tulowitzki has been sidelined with a serious injury and lengthy recovery process. He spent 65 days on the disabled list in 2017 after tripping over C.J. Cron‘s foot and spraining his right ankle. The veteran shortstop finished the year with just 66 games under his belt and slashed .249/.300/.378 with seven home runs in 260 PA for the club. Until he’s healthy enough to resume his post, the Blue Jays will continue to utilize a combination of Aledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe in his place.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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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.