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Report: MLB looking into umpire Rob Drake’s threatening political tweet

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that Major League Baseball is looking into a threatening tweet made by umpire Rob Drake. In a since-deleted tweet, Drake wrote, “I will be buying an AR-15 tomorrow, because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020

Drake’s Twitter is littered with third-grade-level misspellings as well as pro-Trump political tweets, but it was the threatening nature of the deleted tweet that apparently drew the attention of the league. Some of Drake’s tweets call into question the birthplace of former President Obama and push back against the criticism of white supremacists.

Drake, 50, debuted as a major league umpire in 1999. He has worked the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the 2013 All-Star Game, the 2012-13 Wild Card games, the 2010 and ’14 Division Series, and the 2012-13 and ’15 LCS.

According to Passan, an MLB spokesman confirmed that the league is looking into the matter. Joe West, the president of the MLB Umpires Association, declined to comment.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).