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MLB notebook: La Russa defends D-backs for plunking McCutchen

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 10:15 p.m.

Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa defended his club against the criticism it has received for the apparent retaliation against Pirates star Andrew McCutchen.

“I don't see where the Diamondbacks should catch all this [expletive] they're catching,” La Russa said, according to azcentral.com.

La Russa said it's unfair the Diamondbacks have been criticized while Paul Goldschmidt's injury as a result of a pitched ball largely has been ignored.

“I've heard a lot about McCutchen getting hit, but I haven't seen nearly as much about Goldschmidt, who isn't going to play the rest of the season,” La Russa said. “I think, wait a minute, five runs down in the ninth and this guy's lost, and he's every bit the player that McCutchen is. They're in contention, but that makes no difference.

“There's a big difference between getting hit (in the hands) and getting hit (in the back). That's why I think it's unfair. I think it will continue to be unfair because I don't think this message will get out. It's not a popular response, so they'll just dismiss it.”

• Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday he expects baseball owners to vote next week from a list of three candidates for his successor. There have been several reports that the three finalists are Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer; Tim Brosnan; and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

• Nationals manager Matt Williams said on a 106.7 The Fan radio show that he hasn't made a decision on whether struggling Bryce Harper will be sent down to the minor leagues. When asked if he was considering sending Harper down, he said: “Generally, if you have young players, that's what you do. But this guy is a special young player.”

• The Dodgers designated infielder Chone Figgins for assignment. He had been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque.

• Red Sox outfielder Allen Craig, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a left foot sprain, likely will seek a second opinion.

• The Padres hired A.J. Preller as their new general manager.

— Wire reports

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