Columnist Peter Schumuck thinks it's time for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred "to end this nonsense before somebody really gets hurt." (Baltimore Sun video)
Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale said after Tuesday night's game that he wasn't "going to lose any sleep" over Manny Machado's angry reaction to the pitch the left-hander threw behind him.
Well, commissioner Rob Manfred, how about five starts? How about taking a really tough stand on something other than whether a batter stays in the box between pitches?
Because one of these days, somebody is going to stay in the batter's box for a very long time while the paramedics try to figure out if he's ever going to wake up. How about stepping up right now and making this kind of nonsense make no sense to the Chris Sales of the world?
Ten days ago, reliever Matt Barnes threw behind Machado's head. On Monday, Rick Porcello appeared to take a shot at him. On Tuesday night, Machado came within inches of taking a sizzling fastball off one of his surgically repaired knees and responded with an expletive-laced tirade against the Red Sox after the game.
Of course, Sale won't lose anything if Major League Baseball doesn't step in, because the designated hitter rule allows for a pitcher to throw at a batter without any concern about his own safety. At least in the National League, the guy would have to come up to bat at some point in the game and put himself at risk for the consequences of his actions.
For some reason, they call what Sale did "protecting his players," when in reality it does just the opposite.
Sale knows that Machado's past on-field incidents prevent him from charging the mound, which makes the decision to throw near his knees even more gutless.
The only question remaining is, when is this dangerous game going to end? The Red Sox have thrown at Machado multiple times because of a hard slide 12 days ago that almost everyone with more than a peanut-sized brain knows was not an intentional attempt to hurt Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia.
The pitch in the first inning came just a minute or two after the Red Sox crowd gave Adam Jones a standing ovation in a civic apology for the racist crap he had to endure the night before. Obviously, Sale could not leave a tender moment alone, and now we have to wonder what the Red Sox and Orioles might do for an encore.
Machado has had some measure of revenge, hitting two long home runs the past two nights and taking his sweet time around the bases after each of them. He has held his temper and played the game on the field magnificently.