Getty Images

Chris Sale will not receive a suspension after throwing behind Manny Machado

32 Comments

The latest installment in the ongoing Orioles-Red Sox feud is this: Boston left-hander Chris Sale is reportedly not in line for a suspension after throwing behind Manny Machado on Tuesday. Despite recent comments from MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre earlier this week, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that a “final determination” has been made and Sale will not receive an official punishment from the league.

The original beef between the two teams — Machado’s spikes-high slide into Dustin Pedroia‘s leg, which has since been deemed unintentional by all involved parties — has escalated over the past two weeks. Sale’s pitch, a 98 m.p.h. fastball aimed behind Machado’s knees, was the third such incident to spawn from Pedroia’s injury. Now, it appears that the Red Sox won’t receive so much as a slap on the wrist for behavior that, should it continue, could unnecessarily injure another player.

Torre and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred appeared to take different approaches to the conflict. According to Torre, Manfred issued a joint warning to the teams during a conference call on Wednesday, letting them know that any further behavior would result in discipline by the league. Torre, on the other hand, said he’d rather not have the players and umpires “walking on eggs” as they approach each game, and felt that the situation didn’t warrant any pregame warnings going forward. Wednesday and Thursday’s games passed without too much drama, and the two teams aren’t scheduled to meet again until a series in Baltimore on June 1. Whether Manfred’s warning will prevent further retaliation remains to be seen, but given the league’s leniency so far, it may not be enough.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

Getty Images
3 Comments

Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.