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.