Boston Red Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia was injured in the 8th inning by Orioles 3rd baseman Manny Machado’s slide into 2nd base. Was it dirty?
There’s no question that Dustin Pedroia is a leader in Boston and there’s no question that Manny Machado is also trending towards becoming the leader in Baltimore. Pedroia, already a two-time World Series Champion continues to play with grit and a chip on his shoulder. His leadership and his ability to get on base will be missed especially if he’s away for an extended period of time. Machado on the other hand, has been a totally different story. The 3rd baseman whilst being one of the better and more well known players on his team lacks some maturity given his track record the past few years.
Last night, in the bottom of the 8th inning, Mark Trumbo hit a ground ball to Xander Bogaerts at short who fielded the ball and threw it to Pedroia. As Pedroia caught the ball, he was greeted with a late slide by Machado breaking up the double play. John Farrell came out to protest what should have been called a double play because of the slide but but to no avail as play continued. Pablo Sandoval moved from 3rd to 2nd base and Steve Selsky entered the game to man the hot corner. The replays would later show that Machado did slide late and with his cleats up. As Pedroia was going down, Machado did his best to catch him but the damage was already done. Machado slid past the bag which also led many to believe that the slide was indeed late and labeled as dirty.
Machado, a two-time Gold Glover has had several issues on the field. On June 7th 2014, he took exception to a tag out play by Blue Jays Josh Donaldson at 3rd base which led to the benches to clear. The day after playing against Oakland, he accidentally back swung and hit catcher Derek Norris who ended up leaving the game moments after. Later that game, he let his bat go in the direction of the third baseman which led to his eventual ejection and 5 game suspension. On June 7th 2016, two years later to the day playing against the Royals, he charged the mound after the late Yordano Ventura hit him with a 99 mph pitch which led to him punching the pitcher in the face clearing the benches.
As the track record would show, Machado isn’t always a happy camper and has displayed diva tendencies which will no doubt get him in trouble in the future unless he makes some changes. I’m not expecting the Red Sox to retaliate but it’s clear that Pedroia isn’t going to be playing for a few games until he’s back to 100%. There’s no point in risking his injury to be worse. Very understandable why the Sox are upset. Karma will get you if you play a dirty game. While Machado can say all he wants about it not being intentional, watch the replay of the Machado into Pedroia slide and you be the judge.
After the game Machado was quoted as saying, “I’m not going to change the way I play. I’m going to keep playing hard and keep doing what I’ve got to do to help my team win. It wasn’t intentional. Just go look at the replay and you guys will see.”
Pedroia mentioned that he was more upset about the Sox loss than the injury. He added, “listen man, I’ve turned double plays in the big leagues for 11 years. That’s my job. That’s not the first time I’ve been hit. It won’t be the last. It’s baseball, man.”
Orioles Manager Buck Showalter added, “I haven’t seen the slide. What was illegal about it? I don’t really know.” Clearly a manager should know when and what it looked like. So either Buck is playing stupid or he’s taking a completely different approach to it. Either way, it doesn’t seem like the professional route.
Machado avoided arbitration this year agreeing to a one year deal worth $11.5 million. He’ll be eligible next season where he’ll undoubtedly make even more unless he agrees to get locked up to a long term deal. The Yankees have been linked to both Machado and Bryce Harper and have explored signing both players when both become free agents in 2019.
The Sox still have one more game tomorrow against the Orioles where Eduardo Rodriguez will face off against Kevin Gausman. The Sox have gone 8 – 8 in their last 16 and will play their 17th straight game at 1:35 PM before a much needed day off. The Red Sox will then host the Yankees for what will begin a 10 game home stand.
Photo Credit – Patrick Semansky – AP