April 24, 2017 by salucco
Dustin Pedroia has missed the last two games due to injury stemming from a Manny Machado slide. (Courtesy of AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Written by Alex Salucco
Reputation, as defined by the wonderful people at the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the opinion that people have about what someone or something is like, based on what has happened in the past.”
Here are a few examples:
Because of Marlon’s reputation of snoring loudly, Alex likes to sleep with a fan on to drown out the noise.
Because of Ryan’s reputation of being someone who vehemently hates Kevin Kiermaier and Colby Rasmus, Alex refrains from speaking about them when he is around Ryan.
Because of Manny Machado’s reputation of being a hotheaded player who doesn’t respect the rules of baseball, his slide into Dustin Pedroia was dirty.
Now, I don’t think it was a dirty slide…but it was Manny Machado who delivered it. Yes, he cleated him in the back of the leg and I agree it was too late for my liking; but Machado’s actions directly after the slide, and after the game when he reached out to Pedroia, were not those of a guilty man.
But given Machado’s reputation there were many who thought this was dirty and rightfully so. Machado can complain about it all he wants but his bad rep is nobody’s fault but his own.
Courtesy of MLB
Exhibit B (the day after Exhibit A)
Courtesy of MLB
Exhibit C (two years to the date of Exhibit C…also RIP Yordano Ventura)
The tardiness of Machado’s slide is hard to argue with but with a rule that is vague and often not called it forces players to find the line between legal and illegal. From a fielders standpoint it is loved; it makes your job easier…but baserunners can’t stand it.
I like that the runner has to make contact with the bag. Doing that eliminates the egregious plays at second base, but you have to let these guys slide through second. Safety is important but breaking up a double-play to preserve an inning, when done correctly, is an important part of baseball.
Of course, it was the Chase Utley slide back in the 2015 playoffs that injured Reuben Tejada that fueled the talks about a new rule.
Courtesy of MLB
Utley’s slide is one that the new rule was established to negate, but if you look at this and the Machado slide and can’t see the difference then go back to playing MLB The Show.
Of course people around the Red Sox feel like the slide was illegal, and although I don’t think it was dirty I do believe it was illegal…so if a slide like Machado’s isn’t illegal, why do we have the rule at all?
Dustin Pedroia, a dirt dog who doesn’t take crap from anybody, had a few words to say.
Clearly it wasn’t the end of it because tempers flared in last night’s game between the Red Sox and Orioles at Camden Yards. I think everyone watching the game thought something was about to go down.
Eduardo Rodriguez appeared to have tried to hit Machado in the knee-area early in the game but was ultimately unsuccessful. In the eighth inning while the Red Sox lead 6-0, Matt Barnes did this.
This was bizarre on many different levels.
- It was technically a foul ball as the ball hit the bat and not Machado. Barnes was immediately ejected.
- The umpires thought it had hit Machado and he was standing on first. They quickly talked it over and Machado was back at the plate.
- As Joe Kelly was warming up, Machado and Pedroia had a conversation.
This is clearly not over for the Sox because they didn’t successfully hit Machado, but the same can be said for the Orioles. One of their guys was getting head-hunted and regardless of his reputation, that is a line you don’t cross. I expect this to go back and forth all season long and we will undoubtedly get a taste of it next week when the birds fly north to Fenway.