Machado: it’s going to make me a better player and a better man
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who was apologetic in addressing the media after Monday’s game, hopes he can learn from his involvement in Sunday’s benches-clearing brawl and move forward accordingly.
“When things happen like this you’re definitely going to learn,” said Machado, who is awaiting punishment by the League that will likely come Tuesday and is expected to include a suspension. “It’s going to make me a better player and it’s going to make me a better man. Looking forward, I hope I learn from it and don’t make the same mistake.”
The 21-year-old Machado, who did speak pre-game except for a pre-recorded interview with the team-owned MASN Network, elaborated on his earlier apology and said he used the Orioles advanced meeting Monday afternoon to clear the air with his teammates.
“You go up there and say what you are feeling,” he said. “I went up there and apologized to everybody here.”
Machado also apologized to the Oakland A’s, singling out catcher Derek Norris, and the fans and said hitting Norris with his backswings was unintentional. Machado said when the incident occurred Sunday he didn’t think that Oakland players — given the situation — would think he was being sincere. The All-Star first got into it on Friday, taking exception to a hard tag by Josh Donaldson. On Sunday after a second consecutive inside pitch from reliever Fernando Abad, Machado’s bat went flying from his hands after a swing, sailing past third base. That was enough to empty both benches and cause Abad and Machado to be tossed.
Machado said after Sunday’s game the bat slipped out of his hands and after watching the replays and thinking things over, he came in on Monday full of remorse.
“We all make mistakes,” he said. “It’s tough. It’s going to happen. At that point, I let my emotions take over. In this situation, I think you’ve got to control a little better, and it’s something we’re just going to have to move on from and learn from it. I got the best of it, and I learned.”
Were Machado’s teammates, who also addressed him on Monday, angry with his display over the weekend?
“You know what? Not really,” Machado said. :Obviously in situations like that, you get mad at not the situation but how it happened. We’re all on the same page now. They all have my back and that’s the only thing that matters. From now all, we will learn how deal with it in different ways and how to approach it.”
“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. In 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. Norris was removed from the game as a result of one of the backswings, and both Norris and fellow catcher John Jaso had choice words for Machado during Sunday’s postgame.
And while Norris told reporters on Monday that he accepted the televised apology, Donaldson did not.
“Words are words,” he said. “You have to go out there and prove something every day. It takes a long time in the game to develop a [good] reputation as a player, and a short time to lose it. The only thing to get that back is to go out there, and play it the right way.”
When asked about Machado’s apology, A’s manager Bob Melvin said: “Good for him.
“I would like for us to just put it behind us, and go out and play today.”
Showalter would also like the incident behind his club, saying Monday 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 apologized to everyone. And anyone,” Machado said. “I didn’t mean to do anything bad or anything, there was no intention. And when I see them again I will get somebody and apologize, that’s what it is. We are all grown men in here. That’s something that I shouldn’t have done and now I have to deal with the consequences.”
Whatever those may be.
“It’s crossed my mind,” Machado said of being suspended, “but when we get to that point, we’ll have to see what we’re going to do.”