OAKLAND, Calif. -- When the Orioles open the second half Friday at the O.co Coliseum, it also marks third baseman Manny Machado’s first game against the Oakland Athletics since June 8, when he was ejected for tossing his bat, an incident that led to a five-game suspension and heavy criticism from Oakland players.
Machado said he has moved on from the incident, but it will be the first time he will be on the field with A’s who criticized Machado’s actions following the bat toss and Machado’s confrontation with third baseman Josh Donaldson for what he thought was a hard tag.
“It’s something that’s just part of baseball,” Machado said following the Orioles’ team workout Thursday. “Everything happens for a reason. I’ve paid my consequences. I’m past it already. We’re just going to go out there and take it like it’s another day. I’m going to go out there and play my game.
“If I see them, I’m going to say, ‘Hey, what’s up to them. How are you doing? Good luck,’ the same thing I say every day,” Machado said. “I’m not going to change my game just because I’m here in Oakland. I’m going to keep playing the same game I’ve played and just hopefully come up with some big wins and keep staying hot.”
The incident drew national criticism for the 22-year-old third baseman, especially from Oakland fans.
“They yell at Manny in New York, Boston, Toronto, Tampa,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s part of the process. I think in some ways it might be good for him. … I and we have some personal feeling about it and how it all went down and you learn from it. We all look back on things. But it’s behind us. We’re trying to move forward. Manny knows the support he’s going to get from his teammates and the organization.”
Machado said he hasn’t even thought about playing Oakland again.
"I’m not really thinking about it I’m thinking about starting off the second half strong, coming out of here with some big wins,” Machado said. “This road trip is a big road trip for this team. We’ve had a great first half, but this is going to make [our success] long term."