Manny Machado isn't going to get a reprieve from the ill will when he and the Los Angeles Dodgers head to Boston to begin the World Series on Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Before Machado was wearing Dodger blue and turning the entire state of Wisconsin against him, his last big league beef came in 2017 when the Orioles and Red Sox played nine times in the first 27 games of the season and spent most of that time under a cloud of hostility.
It began on April 21, when Machado made a hard and high slide that was reckless if not malicious into second baseman Dustin Pedroia, which ended up aggravating a knee injury for the Red Sox star. That was a Friday, but it wasn't until Sunday that the Red Sox tried for retribution against Machado, when reliever Matt Barnes threw behind Machado's head and was promptly ejected.
Machado and the Red Sox dugout were jawing at each other while the next pitcher, Joe Kelly, warmed up, and then he promptly hit an RBI double, although the Orioles lost 6-2 that day.
They only got a week apart from each other before the two teams renewed their friendship. Machado homered in the first game of that four-game set, was booed for taking what Boston deemed an eternity to get around the bases, and the Orioles eventually won 5-2.
It wouldn't be as cut-and-dry the next game, when Red Sox ace Chris Sale threw a pitch behind Machado and got both dugouts warned. After the game, Sale was defiant about what happened, but Machado went off, using 10 expletives in one answer and noting that if the Red Sox were going to hit him, they should have done it and moved on.
“I mean, if you’re going to [expletive] hit me, hit me,” Machado said at the time. “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.”
The series — which also featured Adam Jones accusing Red Sox fans of using racially charged language from the stands and Kevin Gausman getting ejected in the second inning of a tense game that followed all this for losing a breaking ball and hitting Xander Bogaerts in the back — didn't reach such tensions again.
But Machado was never warmly treated in Boston again — and that will only continue when he returns there for the World Series. His hard slides and questionable decisions during the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers won’t have helped. He appeared to clip first baseman Jesús Aguilar’s leg as he crossed the base on a groundout, leading the benches to clear in Game 4 (and leading Machado to being fined by Major League Baseball). When the series returned to Milwaukee, the fans booed him mercilessly. During Game 7, Machado appeared to make a lewd gesture toward the stands.