Over the weekend it was reported that St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol and infamous umpire CB Bucknor had a little bit of a tiff, if you will. Reportedly, when Marmol went to shake Bucknor’s hand before the Cardinals spring training game, Bucknor refused his handshake. In my head Marmol went in for the handshake and Bucknor pulled his hand away at the last minute and pantomimed running it through pretend hair. Here is how the exchange was reported as going down:
Oli Marmol approached CB Bucknor pregame to shake hands and clear the air. Bucknor refused. The other umpires apologized for his behavior, Marmol said. “I don’t think he’s very good at his job, and he has zero class as a man.”— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) February 25, 2023
This of course raises the question of what Marmol was wanting to clear the air for and why Bucknor was so mad. My guess is it had something to do with Marmol telling him to retire last season:
Honestly it seems like CB was a little crueler in that exchange than Oli was and he really is not in much of a position to start holding grudges at coaches that yell at him. Here he is tossing Joe Maddon, getting into it with David Ross, ejecting Brent Storm, and John Gibbons, Freddi Gonzalez, Paul O’Neill...
Regardless, he did not want to smooth things over with Marmol, which then led to Marmol saying this:
After watching an awkward (tense?) exchange before Game 1, I asked #stlcards manager Oliver Marmol.— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) February 25, 2023
He said umpire C. B. Bucknor rejected a handshake, has 'zero class.'
Shown his quote in writing, Marmol told me to 'put it in all caps.'
The story: https://t.co/7HXZf1MwQg
It appears that was not what Major League Baseball wanted from Marmol because they responded by looking into the situation (and seemingly fining him, though that was never explicitly stated).
Filed to the ESPN news desk: MLB is reviewing what occurred between umpire C.B. Bucknor and Cardinals Manager Oliver Marmol. Marmol told reporters after Saturday's game that Bucknor would not shake his hand during the exchange of lineup cards before the game.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 26, 2023
Oli Marmol met with MLB yesterday in regards to his recents comments made towards umpire C.B. Bucknor. He will not be suspended. When asked if he was fined, Marmol declined to comment.— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) February 27, 2023
FWIW, Bucknor is scheduled to umpire today's game (he will not be the HP umpire). #STLCards
It will be interesting to see how this impacts the season as the Cardinal as they will certainly see Bucknor again. He is quite frankly too much of wild card in my opinion to ever be able to infer any malice into his calls, but it seems like there might be some added scrutiny in his games with the Cardinals. And hey... maybe that could be a good thing?
what else is going on in baseball...
BREAKING: Star third baseman Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres are finalizing an 11-year, $350 million contract extension, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Machado helped turn around the franchise. He'll stay as the ascendant Padres seek their first championship.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 26, 2023
Bottom of the ninth. Tie game. Bases loaded. Full count. The dream scenario. And ... Cal Conley didn't get set in the batter's box with 8 seconds left on the pitch clock.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 25, 2023
Umpire calls an automatic strike. At-bat over. Inning over. This is the new reality. pic.twitter.com/Bv5k2xJ06j
For those concerned that the pitch clock is so prominent in the background of at-bats during spring-training games: The plan in big league ballparks is for it to be out of view of the center-field camera. In other words: TV viewers will not see the physical clock during pitches.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 25, 2023
Time of game for Padres-Mariners: 2 hours, 29 minutes.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 24, 2023
Time of game for Rangers-Royals: 2 hours, 33 minutes.
This is spring training and a minuscule sample. But it's hard to understate how drastically the pitch clock is going to change baseball.
Pitch Framing Is Evolving Along With the Strike Zone | Fangraphs
what the cardinals are up to...
Jordan Walker would like to introduce himself! pic.twitter.com/zhPiBZPMhG— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) February 26, 2023
The contingent of players from #STLCards major-league camp heading to WBC drops by one. Ivan Herrera is staying, will not play for Panama.— Rob Rains (@RobRains) February 25, 2023
KNOW THINE ENEMY...
the nl central
Joey Votto: "My routine every day is to compete, then go home, play chess and listen to old Norm Macdonald and old David Letterman, have a sleeve of saltines and then go to sleep. I’m dead-ass serious. That’s my life routine ... " https://t.co/0HEiINqlPo— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) February 27, 2023
Joey Votto Tries to Bounce Back | Fangraphs