October 28, 2018

Machado (Again) Spikes An Opposing First Baseman, Says (Again) It Wasn't Deliberate

Manny Machado's style of play has been heavily criticized during this postseason.

In the NLCS Game 2, after failing to run hard to first base on a ground ball, Machado admitted:
"I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line ... That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am. ... I mean that's just my mentality when I'm in the game. ... I've tried changing it for eight years and I still can't figure it out but, one of these days I will."
In Game 3, Machado made two "questionable slides" into second base. In Game 4, he collided with, and spiked the heel of, Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar while running to first.

Christian Yelich, one of Aguilar's teammates, said Machado "has a history of those types of incidents. One time is an accident. Repeating it over and over and over again, you're just a dirty player. It's a dirty play by a dirty player. ... [Y]ou can't respect someone who plays the game like that."

In Game 7 of the NLCS, Machado allegedly "grabbed his crotch and appeared to shake it at the Brewers fans".

(Machado also intentionally threw his bat at an opposing player back in 2014.)

Late in World Series Game 4, Machado stepped on the back of Steve Pearce's right heel while running out a ground ball.
It is hard to believe a player of Machado's talent could inadvertently step on the heels of two first basemen in 10 days by accident - while also inadvertently sliding hard into second base a few times for no reason.

Machado insisted it was an accident, saying he and Pearce are "kind of, almost best friends. ... It's late in the year; our legs are giving out on us ... Sometimes, it just happens."

There has been bad blood between Machado and the Red Sox for at least two years. On April 21, 2017, Machado spiked second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who ended up on the disabled list. Red Sox manager John Farrell called it an "extremely late slide". Pedroia said Machado had apologized via text message.

Two days later, Eduardo Rodriguez threw several pitches inside on Machado and Matt Barnes tossed a pitch behind Machado's head. Barnes was ejected and suspended. Pedroia undercut his reputation as a clubhouse leader by stating afterwards that he was on Machado's side. "I had nothing to do with that. That's not how you do that, man. I'm sorry to him and his team."

In May 2017, after Chris Sale threw behind Machado in the first inning of a game at Fenway Park, Machado ripped both Sale and the Red Sox organization as "cowardly":
That's stuff you don't [expletive] do. To get thrown at at my [expletive] head, to get thrown at [expletive] everywhere – I've lost my respect for that organization, that coaching staff, everyone over there. If you’re going to [expletive] hit me, go ahead, [expletive] hit me. You know, don't let [expletive] keep lingering around and [expletive] around. Keep [expletive] trying to hit people. That's [expletive] bull. MLB should do something about it. [Expletive] pitchers go out there with their [expletive] balls in their hand and throwing 100 mph trying to hit people. I got a [expletive] bat too. I can go up there and crush somebody if I wanted to, but you know what, I'll get suspended for the year and the pitcher will only get suspended for two games.
While Sale said before the World Series that he and the Red Sox "have bigger things to worry about", Barnes said he has not forgiven Machado.
When you take out ... a leader of a team, that's not going to sit well with anybody. ... I don't see anything happening ... but it doesn't mean that we've forgotten about it.

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