Orioles shortstop Manny Machado had no regrets about his decision to charge the mound Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals after right-hander Yordano Ventura hit him with a 99-mph fastball in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 9-1 win at Camden Yards. His Orioles teammates, too, had nothing but praise for what he did.
“I don't regret anything,” Machado said. “It's part of the game. Reactions fly. When somebody's throwing 99 [mph] at you, it's going to hurt. You can ruin someone's career. You don't think in that situation. You just react to it. It happened. Whatever happened, happened. You just have to move forward. Thank God the team came out there and kept batting, kept swinging the bats how they did. That's all that matters, that we came out with the W.”
Machado acknowledged there was “probably going to be a suspension coming” after his ejection, but said “you got to deal with consequences that are going to come your way.”
He was heartened by the support he got from his teammates, which several Orioles players noted Ventura did not receive.
“They were all there for me,” Machado said. “This is part of the grind, it’s part of being a family. We are in this together. If one is going to go down, we are all going to go down. We’re all going to go down fighting. We just got to keep fighting. Things have happened in the past. This hasn't been the first time this has happened where we’ve been hit a couple times. I’m just grateful everyone was behind me and supporting me. At the end of the day it all about the ‘W’. We are trying to get somewhere, they are trying to get somewhere. Tempers flare. We just got to go out there and forget about today and get it tomorrow.”
Here's what the rest of the Orioles had to say about the fight in the aftermath of the game:
Manager Buck Showalter: "I’m not happy about it at all. I thought he was trying to hit him the at-bat before. That’s why I talked to him before he took his last at-bat. I think he signaled breaking ball, and shook to fastball. No, I don’t like when any of my guys are put in harm’s way, especially a guy throwing that hard and having some problems with his command tonight. But not the first time. Obviously, it must be something that’s OK because he continues to do it. It must be condoned. I don’t know.”
When asked about that conversation before Machado’s fourth-inning at-bat, Showalter said he “wanted him actually to be aware” that such a pitch inside might come.
“Don’t want him up there, you know, ambushing something because I felt like the other guy had something else on his mind," Showalter said. "I wanted him to be aware of it.”
Showalter said he was not disappointed in Machado's reaction, and that be believed everyone escaped injury on his side.
“I know the next few pitches they threw didn’t escape,” he said.
Center fielder Adam Jones: “I had a great view. I just think that things like that shouldn’t happen in baseball, man. You throw 100 miles per hour, or close to 100 miles per hour, you’re trying to hurt somebody intentionally — not part of the game. You see the reaction by his players. They weren’t too happy that he did something so stupid. But I’m glad for Manny for defending himself. Screw it. Defend yourself.
“If somebody’s trying to hurt you maliciously, you go out there and you defend yourself. I hope the league goes and sees and reviews exactly what happened, because you can’t go out there when you’ve got a weapon or something at 100 miles per hour, you don’t have to hit, and you’re trying to hurt somebody. That’s not part of the game. If you have to hit? All right, cool. The tables can be turned and he can get his fair share at the hitting. But that’s just not part of baseball, man, and if he wants to make that part of the game, hey, let Major League Baseball handle it. Tonight, Manny handled it himself.”
Jones, when asked if he thought something like that might happen after the second-inning pitch that brushed Machado back, said he “knew it was going to happen.”
“You can foresee things like that,” Jones said. “Like I said, the guy, he’s got electric stuff. The talent is all there, but between the ears, there’s a circuit board that’s off balance. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. He wants to be Pedro Martinez? Cool. Be Pedro Martinez. Have a damn sub-two like Pedro Martinez. Don’t go out there trying to hurt somebody. That’s what Pedro didn’t do. So, hopefully the league catches onto it. I got Manny’s fine, and the rest is history.”
Jones went on to say, “Manny ain’t at fault for nothing.”
Right fielder Mark Trumbo: Trumbo was the next batter in the fifth inning, and hit the first of two home runs the Orioles would have that inning.
“It’s really nice,” Trumbo said. “It’s what you want to see. There are a lot of emotions going on and there’s a lot of things that can happen. Hopefully you can use it to your advantage and not the other way around and I think everyone was pretty fired up after that and we were able to get a few runs across.”
The fans, he said, “seemed pretty into it."
“They seemed pretty … it was almost deafening,” Trumbo said. “They were going nuts. It’s a very exciting thing. It’s not something you see all the time. But when it happens, I’m sure everyone notices.”
As for the pitch that incited the brawl, Trumbo, too, saw it coming.
“Zero surprise factor,” Trumbo said. “It’s unfortunate. I think it’s probably been said quite a few times, but it’s not the reason we play this game. It’s important for everyone that’s at this level and in the game, period, to go about your business the right way. This isn’t the type of stuff that’s good for the game. It’s unfortunate we had to deal with it.”