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Tim Anderson, Cody Bellinger win Player of the Month honors for April

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White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and Dodgers 1B/OF Cody Bellinger have earned Player of the Month honors for April, Major League Baseball just announced.

Anderson, 25, ended April batting .375/.394/.615 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 99 plate appearances. He was involved in a benches-clearing altercation with the Royals in mid-April after Brad Keller threw a fastball behind his back. Anderson apparently used some language that MLB didn’t like and received a one-game suspension.

Bellinger, 23, put together one of the best opening months in baseball history. He hit .431/.508/.890 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 132 plate appearances. Bellinger, Christian Yelich (2019), Álex Rodríguez (2007), and Albert Pujols (2006) are the only players to ever end April with 14 home runs. Bellinger was vying to become the first with 15, but went homerless in the final two games of the month.

Other monthly honors for April 2019:

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.