In comments posted to his official Facebook On Tuesday, the MLBUA called the suspension insufficient, calling it “a slap in the face to all umpires and a disgrace to the game itself.”
Claiming that the San Diego Padres star “violently” threw his bat “at the backstop, with absolutely no concern for anyone’s safety,” the union wrote: “It is NOT acceptable to throw a tantrum and physically touch someone in authority, simply because you disagree. Violence in any workplace is not tolerated. Period.”
“Delinquents become examples by being treated harshly; not only for the good of all employees, but for the good of the company itself,” the union continued. “A person has a level of protection against abusive behavior in any workplace.
“A one-match suspension for this type of behavior is a slap in the face to all referees and a disgrace to the game itself. Physical contact simply cannot be tolerated and sanctions must be swift and severe.
The MLBUA also posted a tweet on Twitter on Tuesday in which it made similar comments while adding hashtags such as “#Violence,” “#TemperTantrum,” “#RepeatOffender” and “#Nonsense.”
MLB responded to these comments a few hours later.
“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 comments on disciplinary decisions taken regarding referees,’ he said in a statement.
“We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extremely serious problem of workplace violence,” MLB added.
Monday, Machado, 26 years old said he didn’t think he touched the referee during the argument.
“The video says it all. . . I think we have a good record,” Machado said. “I don’t think anyone has ever been suspended for arguing balls and strikes. I think it’s a little too much, a little unwarranted, but there is a process to follow and we will follow it.
Machado declined to respond directly to the referees’ association’s comments Tuesday, saying a chance to “plead my case” was “all we’re going to worry about.”
“I have MLB, the Padres and ownership behind me on this, we’re all on the same page and we’re going to move forward,” he said.
The union’s description of Machado as a “repeat offender” likely stems from a 2014 incident in which the Baltimore Orioles star received a five-game suspension for swinging his bat at an Oakland third baseman after being thrown away on consecutive pitches during a controversial series against the A’s.
Machado was also suspended four matches in 2016 for charging the mound after being hit by a pitch from Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, who was handed a nine-game suspension for his role in what turned into a brawl bench clearance.
Padres manager Andy Green noted Monday that Machado hasn’t been ejected from a game since 2016.
“It’s not a habit” he said. “That’s not always who he is.”
MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre “considered all facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.” the league said in its press release Tuesday.
A four-time All-Star in his first seven MLB seasons, Machado signed with the Padres in February for $300 million over 10 years. Before Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, he was hitting .264 with 14 home runs, 40 RBIs, a .346 on-base percentage and a .464 slugging percentage.
“The opportunity has always existed to discuss, privately, all of the MLBUA’s concerns,” said MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark. said union criticism of Machado. “To the extent that there is interest in having a conversation about professionalism and accountability, we are more than willing to have it.” »