Machado apologizes on team network
BALTIMORE— Orioles third baseman Manny Machado apologized for his actions in Sunday’s benches clearing brawl on Monday afternoon as he awaits news of a potential suspension that will likely come Tuesday.
“I want to to apologize to all my teammates, my coaching staff, the entire Orioles organization, and Oakland and to my fans for the way I acted,” said Machado, who also singled out A’s catcher Derek Norris for another apology. “That’s not the way we play baseball around here.”
Machado, who exited the Orioles clubhouse immediately upon the media’s entrance on Monday afternoon, was not made available for further comment. The 21-year-old earned his second career ejection and on Monday went on the team-owned MASN Network but did not take questions from any of the media.
Machado said hitting Norris with his back swings was unintentional and he felt remorse but didn’t think Oakland —given the situation— would think he was sincere. Machado first got into it on Friday, taking exception to a hard tag by Josh Donaldson and upon taking the second consecutive inside pitcher from reliever Fernando Abad he let his bat go sailing by third base. That was enough to empty both benches and cause Abad and Machado to be tossed.
“It was a frustrating weekend,” said Machado, who admitted he overreacted and said he had already talked with his Orioles teammates about the matter. The O’s were late for pre game batting practice as the team held a meeting to discuss the incident and several veterans to air their thoughts.
“Our guys care and they care about Manny and what he can do to help our team, too,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We all at some point start reflecting on the impact our actions have on other people, not only the Baltimore Oriole people but the fans and everything. Today’s world it’s hard to handle all of it internally and rightfully so. And when you run things up the flagpole, players in spots get run up and it’s a very short fall…sometimes we make it easier to fall.”
Showalter said he noticed the backswings on Sunday and mentioned something about it to bench coach John Russell. The A’s took particular exception, claiming Norris was removed from the game as a result, and both Norris and fellow catcher John Jason had choice words for Machado post-game.
“I think Manny’s had six or seven of those this year. Obviously, they’re not intentional,” Showalter said. “It’s just the way he swings. It’s not something that you want to see happen. Just like Matt [Wieters] when he gets hit or any of our catchers get hit, it’s unfortunate. I’ve never seen a hitter do that on purpose including Manny, but I think he felt like they really didn’t want to hear it. Whether that was a good or bad decision can be debated on his part, but I can understand why they would’ve felt that way.”
Showalter said he wasn’t sure if there would be carryover when the two teams play again next month. The Orioles open the second half of the season with a series in Oakland.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We will deal with it. Trust me, we will deal with it.”