Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes will no longer appeal his four game suspension and will begin serving Wednesday night
When Dustin Pedroia got taken out by a dirty Manny Machado slide, there was no question about it being wrong. There was no question that it was going to be talked about given his track record. Lastly, there was no question that there was going to be revenge on the Orioles for Machado’s slide. The revenge never fully materialized as Matt Barnes failed the mission by accidentally throwing behind Machado. Barnes never meant to let the ball go by whizzing by Machado’s head. He’s not a “head hunter,” he’s not a dirty player, he’s not a jerk. He meant to hit him, not throw at his head.
Barnes simply put got unlucky and in the end all that happened was Machado fouled a ball off and that’s it. I’ll give him credit for not charging the mound because I was expecting his immaturity to kick in but it never happened. He handled it like a professional engaging in a conversation with Pedroia. All that happened was Barnes got ejected. Throwing at someone’s head is wrong, obviously. But one should take into account a player’s former track record. Barnes has hit five batters in 128 2/3rd’s career innings. That’s an average of over 25 2/3rd’s innings per hit batter. That’s the equivalent to almost three full games and averaging just one.
For all the hate that Barnes has been getting, one must look back at what caused the botched hit batsmen. If Machado learned to slide properly, this wouldn’t have been an issue and Barnes wouldn’t be suspended. Furthermore, Machado wouldn’t be hated by the Red Sox fan base as much either. I always thought it’d be interesting if Major League Baseball imposed a rule that if a player intentionally injured another one from an opposing team, they should be benched until that said player comes back. Unfortunately, that’ll probably never happen.
He certainly can expect to get booed when he comes to Boston after the Sox first host the Yankees and Cubs. The four game series with the Orioles will complete the 10 game homestand. Tonight’s match up features Luis Leverino for the Yankees and Rick Porcello for the Red Sox.
Photo Credit – Gail Burton – AP