Orioles third baseman Manny Machado unloaded on the Boston Red Sox after Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss with a profanity-laced protestation after starter Chris Sale threw a pitch behind him in the first inning, another dangerous pitch in a rivalry now full of them.
“I mean, if you’re going to [expletive] hit me, hit me,” Machado said. “Go ahead. [Expletive] hit me. Don’t let this [expletive] keep lingering, [expletive] around, and keep trying to hit people. It’s [expletive] [expletive]. It’s [expletive] [expletive]. MLB should do something about it. You have pitchers out there with [expletive] balls in their hands throwing 100 miles per hour trying to hit people. I’ve got a [expletive] bat, too. I could go up there and crush somebody if I wanted to. But you know what, I’ll get suspended for a year, and the pitchers only get suspended for two games. That’s not cool.”
On April 23, Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes was suspended four games for throwing a pitch behind Machado’s head at Camden Yards, which was widely regarded as retaliation for a slide Machado made into second base April 21 that injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy hit Red Sox star Mookie Betts on Monday night in the series opener, and after the pitch behind Machado, both benches were warned.
“Coward stuff,” Machado said. “I mean, that’s stuff that you don’t [expletive] do. But I mean, I’m not on that side. I’m not in that organization. They’re still thinking about that same slide that I did. There was no intention on hurting anybody and I’m still paying, I’m still trying to get hit at. Get thrown at on my [expletive] head. They’re [expletive] throwing everywhere. [Expletive] [expletive]. I’ve lost my respect for that organization, that coaching staff and everyone over there.”
Asked why it still continued so long after that series, and occurred almost immediately after a warm moment when the Fenway Park crowd gave center fielder Adam Jones an ovation a day after he received racial abuse at the same park, Machado was stumped.
“I don’t know,” Machado said. “Go ask them. Go ask [Red Sox manager John] Farrell. Go ask them on that side over there. For me, as I see it, I slid into second base normal and I kind of hurt someone a little bit. Unintentional. I grabbed him after the matter of fact, and they’re still trying to pay the piper. I don’t know what they’re trying to pay for. I don’t know what their mindset is, so I mean, whatever. I’m just going to keep playing baseball, doing what I’ve got to do, keep winning games out here, keep playing for my team. That’s all I can control.”
Machado struck out in the at-bat in question, but homered over the Green Monster in the seventh inning to cut the Orioles’ deficit to 3-2.
Sale was shown yelling in the Red Sox dugout after the first inning, and he joked he was inviting his teammates to a pool party. The Orioles didn’t find the first inning terribly funny.
“Whatever, man,” Sale said when asked about the pitch. “I’m not losing sleep tonight. … I can’t speak on what he says. I don’t know what he said. I’m not too worried about it either.”
Jones, who knows Sale personally, said it was “probably not the best” for him to do what he did.
“One thing I do know about him is he’s going to protect his players,” Jones said. “Probably not the best move. Good thing he didn’t hit him because that was about 97. That wouldn’t have felt good. Ain’t no way that I’m going to allow that kind of stuff to happen. … He’s the best player on our team. He handled it properly. He ended up going deep later, to show his way of retaliation. At the end of the day, the best way to speak in this game is with your bat and your glove and not with your mouth, and he did a great job.”
When told of Machado’s comments, after mentioning that the media was keeping the tensions between the teams alive, Jones said, “when people dislike things, you’re supposed to express how you dislike them.”
“It’s obvious how we feel,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We’re biased. I’m not going to get involved in that. Umpires are there to try to protect the players. There’s two ways you can protect them there, and they chose the other one.”
Jones said he hopes that it doesn't linger into the rest of this series.
"It's over," he said. "They didn't get him."