San Diego Padres' Manny Machado, right, yells at home plate umpire Bill Welke, who had called Machado out on strikes during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, June 15, 2019, in Denver.
San Diego Padres' Manny Machado, right, yells at home plate umpire Bill Welke, who had called Machado out on strikes during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, June 15, 2019, in Denver. ((David Zalubowski/AP))

Padres third baseman Manny Machado on Tuesday declined to address the umpires association likening Saturday's bat throw to "violence in the workplace." Teammate Eric Hosmer, on the other hand, did not mince words after the Major League Baseball Umpires Association took to social media to brand Machado's one-game suspension as "inaction" in a hashtag-laden post that has shined a new light on what players believe is a lack of accountability for the on-field arbiters of the game's rules.

"If they want to make statements like this, they need to be accountable for what they are doing," Hosmer said. "Whatever results they are having, whether they are good or bad, need to be out there, the same way it is for us. The guys that don't produce here, they go down, they go up or whatever.

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"There's just no accountability on their end, especially if they want to come out and make statements like this."

Machado is appealing a one-game suspension for, according to the league's office, making contact with home plate umpire Bill Welke on Saturday night at Coors Field. The umpires union took issue with the length of that ban while pointing out a bat-throw that was not mentioned when Machado's suspension was announced.

Hear from Padres third baseman Manny Machado and manager Andy Green after the MLB Umpires Association put out a damning tweet and Facebook post regarding his suspension.

"Violence in the workplace is not tolerated, and offenders are dealt with severely and even made example of for the good of it's (SIC) employees, as well as the company itself," the association wrote on Twitter. "Is this truly what MLB wants to teach our youth?"

The umpires association's post was accompanied by several hashtags, including #disappointed, #TemperTantrum, #Nonsense and #RepeatOffender.

A lengthier opinion on of the suspension was posted to the umpire's Facebook account, leading to condemnations from both the players union and Major League Baseball.

"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."

Added Tony Clark, executive director of the players union: "The opportunity has always existed to discuss, privately, any concerns MLBUA has. To the extent that there is an interest to have a conversation about professionalism and accountability, we are more than willing to have it."

Saturday's ejection was the fifth of Machado's career and his first since June 7, 2016.

Home plate umpire Bill Welke had called out Machado on strikes on Saturday and ejected him after Machado approached him. Machado immediately threw his helmet to the ground but has denied making contact while yelling in close vicinity to Welke, the same umpire who called out Machado in April on what the Padres deemed phantom interference on a pop-up in foul territory.

Machado flung his bat to the backstop before he was corralled to the Padres' dugout. He continued to berate Welke from the dugout railing in Colorado before retiring to the visiting clubhouse.

Asked Tuesday if believed he was the subject of umpire targeting, Machado simply chuckled.

"At this point," Machado said, "we're just waiting for our hearing. MLB put something in place to handle things like this. With the support of the Padres, Ron (Fowler), Peter (Seidler) and MLB, we're going to move forward and get past this."

The umpires association post, of course, may have lifted what amounts to a very thin veil if you ask Padres veteran Ian Kinsler.

"That's been a part of baseball for forever – umpires target certain players," Kinsler said. "They bait people. Managers get baited. Players get baited."

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Kinsler couched his comments with his belief that umpires indeed have a difficult job ("They never have a home-field advantage. They are always on the road. They are getting yelled out. They never get applauded").

At the same time, Kinsler's echoed Hosmer's sentiment that some form of accountability is needed, perhaps not all that different from a system that sends underperforming players to the minor leagues.

Disciplinary action directed to umpires is also rarely disclosed as it is with players.

"When I get fined," Kinsler said, "somehow it gets out on Twitter and social media and everyone knows the amount of money I get fined for getting thrown out or having an emotional incident on the field. There is no consequence for them, I feel."

Kinsler added: "(An umpire) can target Manny all he wants, he can get scrutinized, but at the end of the day, he's going to go to bed, wake up the next day and umpire a game and there's nothing anybody can do about it. He can call a ball that's obviously a ball a strike and Manny's going to get thrown out, Manny's going to get suspended again and he's going to get fined.

"And nothing's going to happen to that umpire."

bai

Updates

Jun 18, 2019 2:34 PM

- Updated to include comment form the Major League Baseball Players Association.

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