Tuesday, June 18, 2019

MLBUA Objects to MLB "Inaction" on Machado

The Major League Baseball Umpires Association (Twitter: @MLBUA) announced its objection to MLB's one-game suspension of Padres batter Manny Machado for misconduct following his ejection care of HP Umpire Bill Welke on June 15. The umps' group expressed disappointment at MLB's "inaction" in issuing the one-game ban, which Machado is appealing via the MLB-MLBPA grievance process.

In Tuesday's tweet, MLBUA highlighted what Machado did after he allegedly made contact with Welke—what MLB vaguely deemed "aggressively arguing"—following Welke's correctly officiated third strike during Saturday's Padres-Rockies game.
Related PostMLB Ejections 092-94 - Welke, Everitt (SD) (6/15/19).

MLBUA's statement is as follows:
Manny Machado received a one game suspension for contact with an umpire over balls and strikes and VIOLENTLY throwing his bat against the backstop with absolutely no regard to anyone's safety. Violence in the workplace is not tolerated, and offenders are dealt with severely and even made examples of for the good of it's [sic] employees, as well as the company itself. Is this truly what MLB wants to teach our youth?
By comparison, Machado received a five-game suspension in 2014 for throwing his bat during an Athletics-Orioles game. Machado similarly appealed that punishment, but an arbiter upheld the league's five-game suspension.

The umpires' union also included a list of a hashtags expressing displeasure with MLB's purportedly lenient punishment: "#Disappointed #LeadByExample #NotAppreciated #Violence #TemperTantrum #Inaction #NotTolerated #MakeanExampleof #OneGameSuspension #RepeatOffender #Nonsense #MLBUA."

For its effort, the MLBUA twitter account received over 1,000 replies, mostly antagonistic, such as the cryptically toxic, "You about to get some violence on your feed," by a user whose very profile picture exemplifies the inaccuracy of MLB's computerized strike zone.

The following video analysis includes footage from the Colorado television broadcast, which more prominently displays the extent of Machado's conduct in "VIOLENTLY throwing his bat against the backstop," an event MLBAM's posted video featuring the San Diego feed failed to portray in its entirety, namely what actually happened to the bat after Machado released it.

In announcing Machado's one-game suspension, MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre cited two reasons for discipline: 1) "aggressively arguing" and 2) "contact" with an umpire, but did not include the thrown bat element as part of Machado's punishment. Yet this is nothing new—see the following 2016 article that chronicles the history of lenience and the reason behind MLB's tendency to allow and encourage misconduct.
Related PostPsychology & Marketing - Why MLB Discipline is Weak (5/19/16).

The following video analysis discusses this incident:

Alternate Link: MLBUA Objects to Machado's One-Game Suspension (MLBUA)


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