This is a pretty amusing article from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. He talked to some players and managers and they were big fans of the Manny Machado–Yordano Ventura dustup last night.
The column delves into the complexities of these things. Ego. Defense. Competitive energy and emotion. In most of these cases people just get carried away. Disapprobation of an act on the diamond tends to have a direct relationship to how much it seemed premeditated. Yordano Ventura is pretty clearly considered the villain here because of his pitch. Machado’s motivation, though everyone knows he’ll get suspended and agrees he should, was far more relatable and understandable. A reaction.
Whether it’s “healthy,” like Rizzo said is a matter of debate, I guess. We’ve been pretty lucky that in our two high-profile brawls this year no one was hurt. That certainly changes the calculus. If things went differently and, say, Machado broke his hand or Ventura’s jaw or vice-versa, there would be a much more robust conversation about the ethics of fighting today, I presume.
In the meantime, these fights are like any others you see: entertaining to the extent you don’t think too hard about their troubling aspects and only truly troubling to the extent damage is done.