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


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.”

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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