SARASOTA, Fla. — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado had his beef with Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura last season, but when a member of the baseball fraternity dies suddenly, all of that on-field animosity was quickly squashed.
That's why Machado, who brawled with the Kansas City right-hander last season, reached out to Ventura's family in the days after the pitcher's death in the Dominican Republic.
On June 7 against the Royals at Camden Yards, Machado charged the mound after Ventura drilled Machado in the back with a pitch. That prompted a benches-clearing brawl and a continuation of bad blood between the Orioles and Royals that was born when the teams met in the American League Championship Series in 2014.
But when the game was rocked by last month's death of the 25-year-old Ventura, a gifted flame-thrower who had a promising future if he could harness his talent, Machado was among those who reached out to Royals players and Ventura's family.
"I was just trying to reach out to the family and see if they needed anything," Machado said. "I wanted to send some stuff out. It's just sad to see a great guy like that and a great baseball player who had a bright future ahead go down like that."
Machado said his history with Ventura no longer mattered.
"It's sad what happened," Machado said before Saturday's workout. "My condolences go to the family and I know they're still grieving. I know it just sucks. I know we had our altercations on the field, but you know what? You leave stuff on the field. Once you step between those lines, its [the] gridiron. We're out there grinding, playing for each other, playing for our team, playing for the name across our chests. You know, once you step [off] the field, those are things you don't [ever] want to happen."