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Brief history of Manny Machado acting like a malcontent


Manny Machado has become a lightning rod for criticism for the way he has played throughout the NLCS this past week. As Machado had previously never played in a League Championship Series, this may be many members of the national audience’s first real look at the All-Star infielder. What they may not realize is that Machado has a bit of a baseball rap sheet.

June 7, 2014

Machado, then an Oriole, became involved in a feud with the Athletics. On June 7, he was tagged out on his way to third base by Josh Donaldson. Donaldson ran towards Machado, who backpedaled, then tried to shimmy his way around the tag and lost his balance in the process. As he fell, Machado slammed his helmet down in Donaldson’s direction. Donaldson held his hand out as if to say, “What the heck?” The two exchanged words and the benches spilled out into the field.

The next day, Machado swung at a pitch and hit catcher Derek Norris with his follow-through, which forced Norris out of the game. Later in the game, A’s reliever Fernando Abad threw a couple of pitches inside to Machado. Machado then swung and missed at a pitch and flung his bat towards third base. Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne said as the incident unfolded, “You know where that bat was intended to go? To the pitcher.” Catcher Stephen Vogt and Machado exchanged words and the benches once again emptied. Machado was fined and suspended five games.

June 7, 2016

Royals starter Yordano Ventura threw two fastballs high and inside to Machado, who then hit a fly ball to left field. On his way off the field, Machado stared down Ventura and had some words for him. In the fifth, Ventura hit Machado on the back with a fastball, so Machado charged the mound and threw some punches at Ventura. Machado was suspended four games.

April 21, 2017

Machado was on first base when Mark Trumbo hit a weak grounder to shortstop. Xander Bogaerts fed the ball to Dustin Pedroia at second base. Machado slid hard into Pedroia’s leg, knocking him down. Machado appeared to be immediately concerned about Pedroia’s wellbeing. Pedroia left the game and ended up missing the next five days.

That didn’t stop the Red Sox from seeking vengeance. On April 23, reliever Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head and was immediately ejected. Pedroia was seen by TV cameras saying to Machado, “You know that it wasn’t me. It’s them.” The ball actually hit Machado’s bat, so the pitch counted as a strike.

Pedroia said he didn’t fault Machado for the slide and even apologized to him for Barnes’ actions. Barnes was suspended four games.

On May 2, Chris Sale threw behind Machado’s knees. Both the Red Sox and Orioles were issued warnings and nothing more happened during the game. After the game, however, Machado went on a profanity-laced tirade, talking badly about the Red Sox organization and insinuated that he could go after a pitcher with his bat if he is thrown at again.

June 27, 2018

Machado failed to run hard when he hit into a 4-6-3 double play. He apologized after the game for his lack of effort.

October 13, 2018

Machado grounded out to Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS. Arcia took his time throwing to first base for the out because Machado did not run hard. Manager Dave Roberts said he didn’t feel a need to punish the shortstop during the playoffs for his infraction. Machado later told Ken Rosenthal on the FS1 broadcast, “Obviously I’m not going to change. I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”

In Game 3, Machado made two illegal slides into Arcia attempting to break up double plays. The first happened in the second inning. After Machado hit a leadoff single, Cody Bellinger hit a grounder to second baseman Travis Shaw, who threw to Arcia at the second base bag. Machado slid right into Arcia, causing Arcia to not even attempt a throw to first base. If he had, Bellinger likely would have been called out at first base because of Machado’s interference. The second infraction happened in the fourth inning. Machado drew a leadoff walk and Bellinger again hit a double play grounder, this time to Jesús Aguilar at first base. Aguilar fired to Arcia at the second base bag. Machado slid into the bag but reached across his body with his right hand to try to make Arcia’s life more difficult throwing to first base. The throw was a bit off-line and Bellinger was safe, but was later ruled out when the umpires ruled that Machado interfered.

And as we all know in Game 4, Machado grounded out to Arcia in the 10th inning. As he crossed the first base bag, Machado dragged his left leg so it hit Aguilar’s right leg on the bag. Aguilar wasn’t happy with what happened and the two exchanged some unkind words, causing both benches to empty. Both players appeared to make up when Machado reached in the 13th following a single. Machado, however, was fined an undisclosed amount for his actions.

Machado is now 26 years old and has been in the league for seven seasons. His behavior might be expected of a rookie or an otherwise young player. It’s not expected of someone in his mid-20’s who has been around a while. His behavior doesn’t seem like something that can be taught out of him anymore; he’s just a hothead. Machado, however, is so talented that his antics aren’t likely to weaken his market when he hits free agency once the postseason is over. He and Bryce Harper will be two of the most sought-after free agents this winter. Perhaps a big pay day will help Machado calm down.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 8, Red Sox 7: Sox win! Chicago led by three in the seventh, blew that by the bottom of the eighth, but José Abreu hit a two-run jack in the top of the ninth to bring the White Sox back. The foundation of the win was the White Sox pouncing on Chris Sale for five runs in the first three innings. He struck out ten and only walked one, but when he wasn’t missing bats he wasn’t missing bats. Sale is still one of the best pitchers in the game but he hasn’t won at home in almost a year. “For some reason, I suck here,” he said after the game. Relatable. To any number of situations in basically of our lives.

Yankees 8, Blue Jays 7: The Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead but there really isn’t any safe lead against the Yankees this year. Didi Gregorius homered in the second, Aaron Judge singled in a couple in the second as well and D.J. LeMahieu hit a two-run homer to tie things up at five in the fourth. It was tied up at seven by the bottom of the ninth and Gleyber Torres hit a walkoff single to win it for the Bombers. Lourdes Gurriel Jr hit two homers and a double in a losing cause.

The Yankees and Red Sox now head off to London. Blimey, cor, wot’s all this, then, etc.

Indians 5, Royals 3: Trevor Bauer finally had a great day after a couple of months of struggling, striking out 12 while allowing one run into the seventh. He didn’t even allow a hit until the fifth. Jake Bauers and Tyler Naquin homered in support. Francisco Lindor was 3-for-4 and Jason KipnisOscar Mercado and Jordan Luplow each drove in a run. Hunter Dozier hit a ninth inning grand slam on Tuesday. He struck out four times in four at bats here. Baseball is just the worst, you guys, right?

Padres 10, Orioles 5: Franmil Reyes hit two homers. The Padres hit five in all, with Eric Hosmer, Greg Garcia, and Hunter Renfroe going deep as well. This was the tenth time this year the Orioles have allowed five homers in a game. They’ve now allowed 165 homers on the year in 80 games. The 1970 Orioles allowed 125 all year long. Just sayin’.

Diamondbacks 8, Dodgers 2: Arizona was facing off against Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin, who was making his big league debut and jumped out to a 4-0 lead, so, yeah. A three-run homer from Eduardo Escobar paced things in the first and the Snakes would never trail. Jarrod Dyson had three hits, knocked in a run and stole two bases. Russell Martin pitched in this one. Tossed a scoreless eighth, actually, and struck a dude out.

Rockies 6, Giants 3: The Giants jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first but David Dahl hit a grand slam in the third and drove in five in all. Man of the match, right? Is that a thing we have in baseball? We should have that.

Rangers 4, Tigers 1: Mike Minor tossed a complete game allowing on run on five hits and needed only 108 pitches to do the job. Homers from Willie Calhoun, Danny Santana and Jeff Mathis backed him up. The game only took two hours and nineteen minutes. I’d say the Tigers had a plane to catch or something but they’re just playing the Rangers again today. Maybe they all had early reservations at Sammy Sofferin’s Wonder Bar and Indian Room. I hear that Latin troupe extraordinaire, the La Playa Dancers, led by the exotically beautiful Grace Conrad often play on Wednesday nights. Get there early, get a seat by the stage, fill up on Shrimp a la Powhatan and you’re living, buddy.

Phillies 5, Mets 4: Jason Vargas pitched great, giving up only one run to the Phillies for the first six innings, but he ran into trouble in the seventh. That’s when he gave up a second run and left, having struck out ten. Seth Lugo came on in relief and gave up a two more runs, and bing-bang-boom, tied at four, which is how it’d end in regulation. Stephen Nogosek came on to handle the 10th inning but couldn’t record an out, giving up a walk, a single and then a walkoff double to Jay Bruce to end the game. If you wanna feel bad for Vargas for having such a great start blown by his pen, know that a few days later he’s still trying to justify threatening a reporter with violence. Here’s what he said after last night’s game:

“I don’t think all the information is really out there. I don’t think this is a time to get into that. But I think that anybody that knows me, anybody that has played with me, there’s never been a situation like that. So to think it happened out of the blue, it’s foolish . . . “It’s over. Our organization made a statement. We put an end to it. But I think it’s pretty obvious all the info isn’t out there.”

Whatever, my man.

The Mets have lost four in a row. Philly’s seven-game losing streak is now way back in the rear-view mirror, with three straight wins over the Mets.

Angels 5, Reds 1: Yasiel Puig and Justin Bour exchanged solo sots to make it a 1-1 game until the eighth inning. The the Halos scored one more before Bour homered again, this time a three-run blast to give him a four-RBI night and to give the Angels a win. Bour has four homers in five games since being recalled from Salt Lake. You might say he’s really enjoyed the spotlight since being recalled:

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Nationals 7, Marlins 5: It was close until the sixth when Matt Adams hit a three-run blast to make it 4-1. The Nats added three more in the ninth, with runs coming on a wild pitch, a passed ball and a sac fly. They all count. And two of those runs were needed as the Marlins made it interesting with a four-run ninth inning rally of their own, with Bryan Holaday singling in a run and Curtis Granderson tripling with the bases loaded. The old man is still an artist with a Thompson.

Athletics 2, Cardinals 0: Daniel Mengden and his old-timey delivery stymied the Cards for six innings and three relievers finished the five-hit shutout. Beau Taylor and Matt Chapman went deep for Oakland. St. Louis has been shut out six times this season. Three of them have come in the last 14 games.

Mariners 4, Brewers 2: J.P. Crawford drove in three of the M’s four runs and scored the fourth, notching two RBI doubles and an RBI triple. Wade LeBlanc allowed two runs after coming in following an opener and the opener and two other relievers shut Milwaukee out. That’s three straight wins for Seattle.

Braves 5, Cubs 3: Atlanta took a 4-0 lead off of Yu Darvish early thanks to a wild pitch, a Brian McCann solo shot and a Nick Markakis three-run homer. Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant homered for Chicago and they’d add a third run on a Jason Heyward ground out, but otherwise Dallas Keuchel was solid — more solid before a 48 minute rain delay in the fourth than he was upon resuming the game after — and picked up his first win of 2019.

Pirates 14, Astros 2: It was 8-2 heading into the ninth when A.J. Hinch sent first baseman Tyler White to the mound. Sometimes those position players pitching do an OK job mopping up. White did not, allowing six runs on four hits — two of ’em dingers — while walking four. Every team has eleventeen relief pitchers but they’re all drag racers instead of horses and so none of ’em can go more than an inning, leading to silliness like this. Great game we got going right now, eh? Anyway, Josh Bell, Jung-Ho Kang, José Osuna and Kevin Newman homered and Corey Dickerson had four hits and three RBI. 

Twins 6, Rays 4: Minnesota jumped out to a 3-0 lead, had blown it by the seventh to trail 4-3 but then Nelson Cruz hit a go-ahead, three-run, two-out double in the seventh to give the Twins the win. The Rays have lost seven of nine.