Machado gets 5-games, will appeal
BALTIMORE—In his apology following Monday night’s game, Manny Machado said a suspension from Major League Baseball had crossed his mind. What the 21-year-old didn’t say was that he would go along with whatever punishment the League handed down.
Machado was sentenced to a five-game suspension on Tuesday afternoon —for his actions in Sunday’s benches-clearing brawl with the Oakland Athletics— and plans on appealing the punishment to lessen the sentence. The All-Star third baseman, who was ejected from the 11-1 loss to Oakland, threw his bat toward third base after two consecutive brushback pitches from reliever Fernando Abad. Abad was not suspended, but fined an undisclosed amount.
“When things happen like this, you’re definitely going to learn,” said Machado, who originally said the bat slipped out of his hands. “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.”
It wasn’t just the bat-throwing that put Machado in hot water. Things started Friday when Machado took exception to a hard tag by Josh Donaldson. He also hit A’s catcher Derek Norris several times in the helmet on a backswing and didn’t show any regret or apologies, with several Oakland players feeling like Machado actually took pleasure in it instead. Machado -who said the backswings were unintentional— said 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.”
Still, Machado’s reputation has clearly taken a hit around the League as Donaldson made no bones about not accepting Machado’s apology and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette telling Spors Illustrated on Monday that sending the third baseman to the Minors Leagues is an option.
Machado apologized to his Oriole teammates before Monday’s game, with the team late taking their typical batting practice as several players aired their thoughts.
“Our guys care, and they care about Manny and what he can do to help our team, too,” manager Buck Showalter said Monday. “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.”