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Report: Chris Sale could be punished for throwing behind Manny Machado

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Update (4:57 PM ET): Rosenthal says he made a leap suggesting that Sale would “likely” be punished.

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On Tuesday, drama between the Orioles and Red Sox continued. For those that aren’t up to speed on the situation: On April 21 in Baltimore, Manny Machado slid hard into second base trying to break up a double play attempt. In doing so, he slid into Dustin Pedroia, injuring him. Two days later, reliever Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Machado’s head. He was ejected immediately and was handed a four-game suspension shortly thereafter. The two clubs opened up another series with each other on Monday and there was mostly no drama. Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy did hit Mookie Betts with a pitch, but it appeared to be unintentional. On Tuesday, in the first inning, Sox starter Chris Sale threw a fastball behind Machado, clearly intending to hit him. Both teams were given warnings. After the game, Machado expressed his displeasure with Sale and the Red Sox as an organization.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said that Sale will likely be punished for his actions. Torre was on a conference call with commissioner Rob Manfred as well as the managers and general managers of both teams.

Torre said, “Players deserve to be on the field. We appreciate your passion but we certainly need to have the focus on playing games instead of trying to get even, if somebody thinks they need to get even.”

Torre’s full comments can be found in Rosenthal’s article.

Sale should be suspended. If he is, it should be long enough to serve as an actual detriment. If the punishment is, for example, a five-game suspension, the Red Sox can just shuffle their rotation around a bit and it will be as if Sale didn’t miss any time at all. If players are losing half the season for failing a drug test, they should lose as much time for endangering their peers.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.