The Orioles and Red Sox have some major beef right now, it’s starting to get out of hand. The mess, of course, started a couple weeks ago when a late slide that included high spikes from Manny Machado put Dustin Pedroia on the shelf for a few days. The Red Sox held off on retaliating for a day, but eventually they couldn’t help themselves and Matt Barnes (whether on his own volition or with instructions from someone higher up than him) threw at Machado. The ball got away from him (or, at least we hope it got away) and it sailed above the Orioles’ star’s head. The play actually ended up going as a foul ball, but the intent was clear.
Things kept going this week, with the Orioles coming to town for their first series against Boston since the inciting incident. Midway through Monday’s game, Dylan Bundy had two pitches very inside to Mookie Betts, and the Red Sox star outfielder was hit with the second one. The Red Sox didn’t like that, and Chris Sale went back at Machado in the first inning of Tuesday’s game. That led to a profanity-laden rant from Machado in which he was rightfully upset about continuously being thrown at. He may have taken things too far, though, when he made a threat that wasn’t really a threat about using his bat on an opposing pitcher.
All in all, this whole thing has gotten out of hand, which is why I never wanted the Red Sox to throw at Machado in the first place. It’s gotten so out of hand, in fact, that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has reached out to both teams to tell them, essentially, to cut the shit.
Prior to hearing about this I was 100 percent certain that things were going to escalate even more in Wednesday’s game between the two teams. This seems like a drastic enough step to get people’s attention, though. If the commissioner is getting involved — and Farrell mentioned in the linked post from WEEI that this is the first time this has happened with him — then that’s likely enough to deter players from taking matters into their own hands. If either side does decide to take action tonight, I would imagine the suspensions will be even longer than you’d typically expect from this kind of incident.
Hopefully, this is all behind us, because I’d like to just go back to watching baseball without worrying about who’s about to get beaned.