Courtesy of PNC

‘Violent’ Machado … ‘He Hate Me’ missing … Ortiz upgraded

Welcome to Hot Button, a new round-the-clock feature that'll cover ... well, everything. At all times. In all sports.

We'll try to keep a focus as to what might most interest Pittsburgh sports fans. But the place needs Pittsburgh fans to be vibrant. Let's hear from you, including your own content and contributions to this stream. We'll be right there with you.

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Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.: Manny Machado received a one-game suspension for making contact with umpire Bill Welke while arguing a third strike call Saturday. The MLB Umpires Association does not agree ... with the suspension.

The MLBUA reacted in a Facebook post today calling the suspension a "slap in the face" and a "disgrace," referring to the incident as "violence." The $300 million Padre reacted with an appeal of the suspension saying players always have a right to argue calls, and that he did not make intentional contact with Welke. -- Sunday


Tuesday, 3:28 p.m.: Former XFL star and NFL veteran running back/return specialist Rod Smart, known as He Hate Me in his XFL days, has been missing in South Carolina for a week, leading to a missing person advisory being filed in Lancaster County, S.C. Smart, and his 'He Hate Me' moniker, made football news when he made the jump from a fun nickname in the short-lived XFL to a five year playing career with the Eagles and Panthers. -- Sunday


Tueday, 3 p.m.: Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was upgraded to "good" condition at Massachusetts General Hospital on Tuesday while officials in the Dominican Republic identified the man who allegedly paid for the hit men who ambushed Ortiz at a Santo Domingo club

The Associated Press reported that the man newly in custody, Albert Miguel Rodriguez Mota, was accused of being a liaison between the hit men and the mastermind of the assassination plot. Police have disclosed few details in the case, including the mastermind's identity or the motive. The Daily Mail and other outlets have reported that the hit was organized by a drug kingpin who was upset with Ortiz's romance with a model. -- Barger


Tuesday, 11:50 a.m.: The Flyers acquired defenseman Justin Braun from the Sharks in exchange for two draft picks. -- Taylor


Tuesday, 11:45 a.m.: Rob Scuderi is back in the NHL.

Scuderi, who retired from professional hockey in 2017, has been hired by the Predators as a defense development coach. He spent last season as a development coach for the P.A.L. Junior Islanders of the National Collegiate Development Conference, a junior hockey division which works to prepare players for NCAA hockey. -- Taylor


Tuesday, 11:13 a.m.: It was curious when the Rams barely used star running back Todd Gurley down the stretch last season, instead having him split time with C.J. Anderson. All we knew was that Gurley was dealing with a knee issue.

Reports of an arthritic situation were put out for public consumption. And this week, Gurley's trainer, Travelle Gaines, confirmed that is the case.

Many questioned the Rams' decision to give Gurley a 4-year, $60-million contract extension two years ago, when he still had two years remaining on his rookie deal. Now, that decision looks even shakier. Gurley is signed through 2023, with $45 million of that money guaranteed. -- Lolley


Tuesday, 10:30 a.m.: The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter hit a 394-foot homer Monday night against the Marlins and followed that up with a double that traveled 48 feet.

Carpenter came to bat in the fifth inning and the Miami defense aligned in an extreme shift with all the infielders on the right side. On a 1-1 count, Carpener pushed a bunt down the third-base line. Pitcher Elieser Hernandez chased it down in the outfield grass while Carpenter made his way to second base unchallenged. -- Barger

The most recent two-base bunt, according to Jayson Stark, came in 2015 when the Royals' Alcides Escobar popped up a bunt that a diving infielder deflected far enough away for Alcides to get to second.


Tuesday, 9:05 a.m.: DK talked about Harold Ramirez in this morning's Tuesday Takes-style Grind, so it only seems fitting to pass along that Drew Hutchison, the "return" in the now famous Francisco Liriano trade from 2016, has been released from his minor league contract with the Yankees. He is now a free agent once more. Hutchison had been toiling away with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders of the International League, where he had pitched to a 5.14 ERA across 63 innings. Hutchison never saw an MLB field in 2017, when the Pirates released him. He spent 2018 in the Rangers and Phillies organizations, compiling 42.2 innings in the majors collectively while sporting a 6.42 ERA. - Rollison


Tuesday, 3:05 a.m.: The unquestioned highlight of the day in a very slow day for sports came from the College World Series and Michigan's Jordan Nwogu completely showing up Gregory Polanco with this slide into third base. And yes, he was safe. -- DK


Tuesday, 2:44 a.m.: It's undoubtedly too early to see the Pirates as sellers, but it might be worth noting already that the Yankees are now openly stating they're out to add starting pitching. This is most notable, of course, since Neal Huntington and Brian Cashman have combined for several trades over the years. And since ... well, you know, they will end up selling -- DK


Monday, 11:05 p.m.: The man who ordered the hit on David Ortiz has been identified by Dominican authorities in Santo Domingo, and the manhunt is now on. -- DK


Monday, 9:10 p.m.: Know how New York fans bill themselves as the best in the world? Yeah, cite this anytime that comes up: Tonight at Yankee Stadium, that team's fans booed the Giants' first-round QB, Daniel Jones. It wasn't overwhelming, per most accounts, but the kid hasn't taken an NFL snap yet. It was an unpopular pick, for sure, but it's not like that's his fault. -- DK


Monday, 9:02 p.m.: Insert your own commentary for Mike Trout stepping to the plate against Nick Kingham tonight in Toronto. -- DK


Monday, 8:50 p.m.: Well, absolutely no one is happy in Winnipeg that the Rangers traded Jacob Trouba to the Rangers for a much lesser defenseman, Neal Pionk, and a first-round pick. Fact is, the Jets were in salary cap trouble and had no choice. Further fact, the Jets could have dumped Trouba for just the cap relief or gotten back the same pick, 20th overall -- right before the Penguins -- they gave New York in the Kevin Hayes deal this past spring. Whatever. -- DK


Monday, 8:15 p.m.: Adam Gase might not have been wild about signing Le'Veon Bell, but that doesn't mean the Jets will leave him on the shelf. ESPN's Rich Cimini has a tremendous breakdown of the plan for Bell in the New York backfield ... or wherever he lines up. -- DK


Monday, 8:02 p.m.: Police in Toronto are investigating a shooting in the crowd gathered Monday for the celebration of the Raptors' NBA championship. Reports from the scene said four people had been wounded but none of the injuries was life-threatening. Droves of Raptors fans ran from the shooting in a stampede from the City Hall square, which was packed with tens of thousands of fans. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said other people suffered minor injuries as they tried to get away from the shooting,  -- Barger

Monday, 3:10 p.m.: Josh McCown is hangin' 'em up. Drafted in Round 3 of the 2002 NFL draft, McCown is the definition of a "journeyman," playing for the Cardinals, Lions, Raiders, Panthers, Bears, Buccaneers, Browns and Jets throughout his 17-year career. Statistically, McCown enjoyed his best season in 2017, completing 267 passes for 2,926 yards and 18 touchdowns as a member of the Jets. -- Hunter 

Monday, 1:20 p.m.: The Ducks have a new coach after hiring Dallas Eakins out of the AHL. Eakins has spent the last four years at the helm of Anaheim's San Diego affiliate. Before that, though ... before that, Eakins was the head coach of the Oilers. -- Sunday

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