“War of Words-Right-vs-Wrong”
They are both wrong, and this is pretty ugly.
This being the weekend eruption-eject of Padres slugger Manny Machado from a game in Colorado, for his face to face confrontation with umpire Bill Welke.
This, also being what happened on Tuesday, the Umpires Association criticism of the 1-game suspension to Machado by the Commissioner’s office.
This whole thing is inappropriate, as MLB exec Joe Torre said in the aftermath of the Ump Union tweet criticizing the minimal suspension after the volatile incident in Colorado.
They’re all wrong.
Machado deserved more than a 1-game suspensions for the obscenity laced tantrum, the slight bump of the umpire in the beginning of the argument; the helmet throwing rage, and then hurling his bat into the wall behind home plate.
The umpire deserves criticism for his quick trigger finger ejection of the Padres star just as Machado was turning around to protest the off the corner pitch, that was called strike three.
Macado was caught using the “F” word as least 3-times in his tirade. Welk said something in response right at the beginning, though no one will say what was said.
Manager Andy Green got tossed later in the game, and did have an extended conversation about the Machado ejection.
But neither the player, nor the manager, wanted to talk to the media about specifics, Machado’s language, Welke’s response, or Green’s conversation.
You can give Welke the benefit of the doubt for blowing a call, but you cannot forgive him tor the heated instant ejection.
You probably need to critique his whole body of work in the game, where his strike calls were all over the zone, inside-outside, high and low. He was not consistent that day.
And to complicate it, the Umpires Union went after Torre for handing out just 1-game suspension…and Torre responded with his own criticism of the Union using its twitter account to mock the decision.
The Union took it a further step, by insinuating there was ‘workplace violence’ that was tolerated by Torre because of the bat throw…absurd.
Later in the evening, the Union continued its own tirade, adding more on Facebook, calling the 1-game ban a ‘disgrace to umpires’ and ‘disgrace to the game’. They said players should never have the right to touch someone in authority.
Padres pitcher Craig Stammen says both sides need to respect each other. Eric Hosmer said there was no accountability for the umpires actions. Ian Kindler says some umpires target players.
Umpiring has been hot and cold all year long. Everyone admits it’s a tough job, a subjective job, a job made harder by by the electric stuff, and the ball movement these pitchers now bring to their repertoire.
Each sport is different in its discipline over criticism of the officials..
The NFL will take a players game check for abuse of officials., if they hand out a suspension, though that is rare.
The NBA routinely hands out 25-to-50,000 fines for public criticism and abuse of officials, from players and coaches.
The NHL rarely disciplines players with fines, and sometimes will dock coaches some money. .
Oddly, baseball might hand out a base fine to Machado for the 1-game suspension, but they won’t dock him 1/162nd of his salary for the suspension.
Players who get ejected for arguing, and even managers, don’t get fined for the ejection.
Contact with an umpire is a different case. Excessive abuse can lead to a minimal fine, but what is 5,000 for a player making 30M a year like Manny Machado?
But now in this wild world of social media, new dimensions have taken over.
MLB baseball should hand out a fine to its own Umpires Association for breaching etiquette with the public rebuke via twitter.
Hard to believe going forward, this Welke-Machado issue will go away. Welk ejected Machado and Green earlier in the season, when Machado dropped his bat at the feet of a catcher, going for a foul pop.
Within the Padres clubhouse, veteran players said they needed to ‘respect’ the job the umps do, but also said, they want umps to respect the players right to talk about controversial calls.
Machado didn’t respect Welke with the way he acted. He deserves 3-games with the abuse. he spewed out. Welk deserves to be chastised for what he did, the instant ejection and to be reviewed for his overall poor job calling balls and strikes..
And the Union should be fined for violating protocol. That complaint should be delivered in private to the MLB league office, not globally via twitter.
There will be an appeal shortly. It will be via Skype, not in person. Then there will be a decision Machado should get docked, Welke should get critiqued, and the Union should pay a penalty.
They were all wrong.
Ugly, ugly, and surely not over