Bill Baer

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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.

Cole Hamels to miss eight weeks with strained right oblique

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MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that Rangers starter Cole Hamels underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a strained right oblique. He’s expected to miss eight weeks. The Rangers recalled Anthony Bass to take the vacant roster spot as Hamels heads to the 10-day disabled list.

Hamels, 33, was scratched from Tuesday’s start against the Astros with tightness in his oblique muscle. The lefty compiled a 2-0 record with a 3.03 ERA and a 15/12 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings to start the season.

Drama in Boston: Chris Sale throws behind Manny Machado, Machado sounds off

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Orioles-Red Sox has had enough drama to rival a Shakespeare play. Last night, Boston fans directed racial slurs at O’s outfielder Adam Jones. Before that, the two sides squabbled because third baseman Manny Machado slid hard into second baseman Dustin Pedroia, causing an injury. Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Machado’s head two days later, earning him an immediate ejection and later a four-game suspension.

The drama continued on Tuesday night as the two clubs began the second game of a four-game series in Boston. The Fenway faithful gave Jones a standing ovation as he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat, and starter Chris Sale stepped off the mound to allow Jones the moment. Watch:

The good will was immediately erased. After Sale struck out Jones, the lefty threw his first pitch to Machado behind his knees. Sale might have been retaliating not just for Machado’s slide into Pedroia, but because O’s starter Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts with a pitch on Monday. It didn’t appear to be intentional.

Despite this, home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn issued warnings to both teams. And despite the rest of the game going off without much drama, Machado was incensed about it after the game:

This is far from over, methinks. The clubs meet again tomorrow night at 7:10PM.