MLB says social media attack on Manny Machado by umpires union is 'inappropriate'

Yahoo Sports

A day after suspending San Diego Padres star Manny Machado, Major League Baseball is now defending him against social media attacks from the umpires union.

On Monday, Machado was suspended one game and fined by Major League Baseball after he “aggressively” argued a strike-three call over the weekend, making contact with the umpire and throwing his bat after he was ejected from the game.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

On Tuesday, the Major League Baseball Umpires Association gassed up its social media accounts to make it known in no uncertain terms that it doesn’t think the one-game suspension for Machado was enough. The umpires union called MLB’s decision a “disgrace to the game.”

Hours later, MLB issued its own statement saying it didn’t feel that the umpires union chiming in was appropriate. Machado, meanwhile, is appealing and thinks a review of what happened will nullify his suspension.

You can see the entire incident in the video above — including the called third strike with which Machado disagreed. He was certainly upset, but we see players get mad at umpires quite a bit. Machado throwing his bat was in excess of what usually happens in these situations, so that’s likely what contributed to the suspension.

Let’s dissect all the fallout from this in order. Here’s the umpires union’s tweet and statement about Machado:

If all those hashtags weren’t enough, the the umpires union also went into greater detail on its Facebook page, including calling the suspension “a slap in the face of all umpires and a disgrace to the game itself.” Here’s the whole thing:

“Manny Machado was suspended one game for contact to an umpire during an argument over balls and strikes, while violently throwing his bat against the backstop, with absolutely no regard to anyone’s safety. One game..one single game. What kind of precedent is that setting? It is NOT okay to throw a temper tantrum and physically touch someone of authority, just because you don’t agree. Violence in all workplaces is not tolerated. Period. Offenders are made examples of by being dealt with severely; not just for the good of all the employees, but for the good of the company itself. A person is given and granted a level of protection from abusive behavior in any workplace. A one game suspension for this type of behavior is a slap in the face of all umpires and a disgrace to the game itself. Physical contact simply cannot be tolerated, and the penalties need to be swift and harsh. What does this teach the MLB’s immense and ongoing influential youth movement trying to attract young fans to the game? Major League Baseball has to always lead by example in all cases of violent behavior, on and off the field. With that being said, the MLBUA is extraordinarily disappointed in Major League Baseball in its disciplinary ‘inaction’ handed down to Manny Machado.”

That led to MLB’s statement, which calls the MLBUA’s social media posts “inappropriate” and said the comparison to workplace violence is unfair.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Machado disputes that he made contact with umpire Bill Welke, Machado, who elected to appeal the suspension, told MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell on Monday:

"I didn't think I touched him," said Machado. "The video says it all. We're going to appeal it, and we think we've got a good case."

Machado was in the Padres’ lineup on Monday night and is allowed to play until his suspension is heard. He homered in Monday’s game and, in a bit of coincidence, hit a line drive that struck umpire second-base umpire Chris Segal.

That one, he can’t get suspended for.

MLB home plate umpire Bill Welke (3) ejects and San Diego Padres shortstop Manny Machado (13) during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
MLB home plate umpire Bill Welke (3) ejects and San Diego Padres shortstop Manny Machado (13) during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

———

Mike Oz is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @mikeoz

More from Yahoo Sports:

What to Read Next