This will not be a long post, because it is pretty much common sense. The backstory, of course, starts last night. With a double play ball to shortstop, Manny Machado of the Orioles was running into second base when Dustin Pedroia was receiving the ball. Baltimore’s third baseman started his slide late, went up over the bag and had his spikes far too high. He got Pedroia with the spikes and the Red Sox second baseman had to leave the game. If you want to see the play for yourself, you can watch it here.
Naturally, because we refuse to evolve as a society, the response to this has been that Machado should catch one in the ribs as soon as today. Stop it. Putting aside how childish beanball wars are for a second, this almost certainly wasn’t even an intentional play. It was pretty clear by his reaction that Machado was not out for blood here. This was clearly a bad slide, but it didn’t appear to be a malicious one.
Even if you don’t believe that, stop calling for beanballs. It’s an ugly and dangerous part of the game and it’s something that needs to go away immediately. It’s easy to say to just throw one in someone’s ribs and be done with it. However, for one thing that is still dangerous depending on who is throwing it. On top of that, pitchers lose control of the ball sometimes. It’s not hard for a ball to inadvertently go towards a player’s head, and when that happens you’re entering a real world of danger.
We’re told all the time growing up not to stoop to the level of those below us. Just because the Orioles might have done something wrong doesn’t mean the Red Sox have to follow that same path. If you want to get back at Baltimore, blow them out. Hit a ton of home runs for the rest of this weekend, and let them know how angry you are on the scoreboard. But throwing at Machado, or any other player? Leave that garbage in baseball’s past where it belongs.