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Orioles 3B Machado drops appeal, accepts 4-game suspension

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BALTIMORE — Manny Machado begrudgingly accepted his four-game suspension for charging the mound, simply because the Baltimore Orioles third baseman knew arguing his position was probably pointless.

Machado dropped his appeal of his suspension Saturday and will begin serving the punishment on Sunday.

“Let’s just get this past us already and keep playing baseball,” Machado said after the Orioles beat Toronto 4-2.

The suspension stems from a June 8 game in which Machado rushed toward Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura after being hit in the back with a 99 mph fastball.

Machado punched Ventura in the face and was subsequently tackled by the right-hander as both benches and bullpens emptied.

Major League Baseball slapped a four-game suspension and a fine on Machado, who immediately appealed.

“I think MLB felt it was fair what they gave me and I don’t think they were going to get it down, which is, I mean, it’s their opinion against mine,” Machado said. “We’ve got this process. It’s done and over. I’ll sit down for the four games and be ready to help this team get to the playoffs.”

Machado will miss Sunday’s game against Toronto, a makeup game in Texas on Monday and a two-game series against San Diego on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two-time All-Star is batting .317 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs.

When he begins his suspension, Machado’s run of 229 consecutive starts – the longest current streak in the majors – will come to an end.

“I’m getting penalized for something that someone else does,” Machado said. “I’ll start a new streak Friday.”

It’s the second time in his career that Machado has been suspended. He missed five games in 2014 after throwing his bat toward third base following an inside pitch from Oakland’s Fernando Abad.

In the game against Kansas City, Ventura threw two inside pitches to Machado in the second inning with the Orioles leading 5-0. After Machado was retired on a flyball, he yelled at the pitcher.

When Machado returned to the plate in the fifth, Ventura plunked him with the first pitch and Machado immediately headed toward the mound.

`’I don’t regret anything,” the Machado said after the game. `’When somebody’s throwing 99 at you, it’s going to hurt. You can ruin someone’s career. You don’t think in that situation. You just react to it.”

Ventura began serving his eight-game suspension – reduced from nine games – on Saturday.

“It’s not right that he’s going to be missing one start and I’m going to be missing four games,” Machado said. “I mean, this whole problem started with him, so why do I get four and he gets one?”

Manager Buck Showalter figured an appeal would have been difficult to win.

“Otherwise, we would have done that,” Showalter said. “That was not going to happen.”

So the Orioles and Machado chose to begin the suspension on Sunday.

“It’s going to start somewhere,” Showalter said, “and it’s going to be painful any way you do it.”

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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