MLB Umpires Union Unleashes Furious Rant over Manny Machado Suspension


Manny Machado’s first season with the San Diego Padres hasn’t gone as planned thus far, which might help to explain his actions in Saturday’s game.

After being called out on strikes on a borderline pitch in the fifth inning, Machado lost his cool, using language toward plate umpire Bill Welke that got him ejected.

He then got into the Welke’s face, continued to argue the call and slammed down his helmet, yelling more obscenities and eventually throwing his bat against the backstop.

It’s not clear whether Machado made any contact with the ump — MLB said he did, while Machado denies it.

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All of that resulted in a one-game suspension for the Padres star for “aggressively arguing and making contact” with Welke.

Machado is appealing the punishment.

The MLB Umpire’s Association also doesn’t like the suspension, but for a different reason: It believes one game is far too lenient. The MLBUA issued a scathing statement on Twitter that ended with, “Is this truly what MLB wants to teach our youth?”

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The MLBUA doubled down in a Facebook post, writing: “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. …

“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?”

That didn’t sit well with MLB, which released a statement of its own Tuesday.

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“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,” the statement said, according to USA Today.

“We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence,” MLB said.

Machado was asked whether he had made any contact with Welke.

“Not that I believe, so no. … I didn’t touch him,” he said. “I didn’t think I touched him. The video says it all, so we’re gonna appeal it and I think we’ve got a good case.”

Machado declined to comment when asked if he thought the MLBUA’s social media posts were inappropriate.

If the suspension holds, it will be Machado’s second suspension in his eight-year MLB career. While with the Baltimore Orioles in 2016, he was suspended for four games after he charged the mound and ignited a bench-clearing brawl.

The 26-year-old Machado is batting .268 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs for the Padres after signing a $300 million, 10-year contract in spring training.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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