The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox have already had a full season’s worth of bad blood. But according Boston manager to John Farrell, commissioner Rob Manfred has seen enough.
In an interview on the Dale, Holley & Keefe Show, Farrell stated that Manfred has reached out to both teams.
“The only thing that I will say in regards to all the events that have been talked about, seen or otherwise, the commissioner has reached out to both teams and discussed, talked about where we are today and what is expected going forward,” Farrell said, as transcribed by Rob Bradford, WEEI.com. “That’s where I’ll leave it. That those conversations have been had. … This is the first time I’ve ever had a conversation regarding a situation like this, and that’s probably where we’ll leave it.”
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado has been at the center of most of the controversy.
In April, the two teams played at Camden Yards. Machado injured Dustin Pedroia with a questionable slide at second base and was subsequently thrown at by Matt Barnes. You can see the whole exchange here.
On Monday, the rivalry moved to Fenway Park. There, Machado hit a home run and ran around the bases at a pace that was rather deliberate. On Tuesday, Chris Sale responded by throwing behind Machado, who parked another home run later in the game. Following Tuesday’s game, Machado went on an expletive-laden rant about the Red Sox.
Manfred made the right move. These teams have four more series against each other. This bad blood can’t amount into a bean ball war that runs through 2017 and possibly beyond. Rivalries are great. But that kind of thing isn’t good for anyone.
Machado can certainly cool off. This isn’t the first time he’s been at the center of controversy. So, it’s hard to give him the benefit of the doubt.
The problem is that the Red Sox are far from innocent. They went way over the top in reacting to Machado’s slide against Pedroia.
As ridiculous as baseball’s famed “Unwritten rules” are, one thing that consistent is that you never throw at someone’s head. Matt Barnes did and was subsequently suspended. That should have been the end of it from Boston’s perspective.
Yes, Machado’s slow home run trot came afterwards. But the Red Sox have employed the likes of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. They can’t be that offended by a slow home run trot.
Additionally, Boston too often sees itself as the league’s policeman. It’s a wonder Brian McCann hasn’t played for the Red Sox at some point. Remember, in 2013 Ryan Dempster threw four straight pitches at Alex Rodriguez and briefly turned A-Rod into a sympathetic character, which was not easily done at that point. Not every problem needs to be solved by throwing a fastball at someone.
In the beef between Machado and Boston, there really aren’t any good guys. Manfred was right to squash it. Hopefully Tuesday’s antics will really be the end of it.