Manny Machado didn't have a great weekend. The Baltimore Orioles' 21-year-old third baseman had two incidents that didn't help anyone in his team's weekend series against the Oakland Athletics.
It seemed to start on Friday night, though it's not clear whether Machado had some reason to be upset with the Athletics beforehand.
Machado got tagged heading to third base by Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson, Machado fell and then got pretty upset. He slammed his helmet to the ground, got in Donaldson's face before the benches cleared and Orioles manager Buck Showalter walked Machado away from the situation.
“Didn't agree on the tag. Right play, he made the right play, but just didn't agree on the tag that he made on me, and I just had to get up and confront him,” Machado told the Baltimore Sun. “You get in the heat of the moment and things start flying. It's part of the game, and you're going to have to continue.”
Later in the game, Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen hit Donaldson with a pitch. That's pretty much baseball code, and life moved on.
But on Sunday, it happened again, only worse.
With the game way out of hand, 10-0 in the eighth inning, Machado seemed to be upset about two consecutive inside pitches from Fernando Abad. After the first pitch, Machado stared at Abad, according to MLB.com.
On the second pitch, Machado let his bat fly out of his hands and it flew all the way past third baseman Alberto Callaspo and toward the third base umpire.
At that point, the benches cleared again, the bullpens emptied and both Machado and Abad were tossed from the game.
It was frustration, it was immature behavior, and the ejections were necessary. Don't be surprised if a suspension follows too. Because baseball simply can't have one of its young stars throwing bats at people.
When a bat flies out of a hitter's hand, most times it is an accident. This seemed far from accidental.
Baseball needs to show Machado that it won't accept a player doing that, but he's probably heard that already. Not only did he overreact Friday, but he then defended it. That couldn't have sat well with Showalter, who has been around the game long enough to know he can't have his players tossing bats around.
Yelling is one thing, but what happened on Sunday went way too far.
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