Oakland Athletics Unhappy with Manny Machado

The Oakland Athletics are unhappy with Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado swung and tossed his bat at Oakland's Alberto Callaspo at third base during a June 8 game.

Jun 9 2014, 4:31am CDT | by

Oakland Athletics Unhappy with Manny Machado
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics are not exactly happy with Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado

Their displeasure stems from an incident involving Machado during a game on June 8, per MLB.com's Jane Lee: 

"With one swing -- and toss -- of his bat, Manny Machado lost the respect of much of the A's clubhouse Sunday.

"Their opinion of Baltimore's young third baseman had already waned before that, though, following a series-long bout of disapproving incidents. 

"But the tossing of his bat toward third base, when it was seemingly aimed at A's lefty Fernando Abad -- following a second brush-back pitch that nearly hit Machado -- marked the tipping point. 

"'It was obvious the pitcher threw at him the second time,' crew chief Larry Vanover said. 'The first time you have some doubt, but the second time there was no doubt he threw at him. And then he threw the bat. That wasn't accidental.'

"'It slipped out of my hands,' said Machado. 'Umpire thought it was intentional, so at that point I guess you have to toss the pitcher and the hitter at the same time.'

"It was Machado's backswing that hit catcher Derek Norris, for a second time on the day, and forced the backstop out of the game in the sixth inning. Not once did he say something to Norris, according to the A's. 

"And it was Machado, two days prior, who yelled at A's third baseman Josh Donaldson, after stumbling to the ground following Donaldson's tag on a forceout. That incident cleared the benches and led to Donaldson being hit by a pitch later in the game. 

"On Sunday, the benches cleared again, this time for much longer. There was more yelling, but with pushing and shoving, too. Ultimately, Machado and Abad were ejected. 

"Machado played it off as an accident -- 'He said something about how we needed more pine tar,' said Stephen Vogt, catching at the time -- but the A's weren't buying it. 

"'What he's doing, it's a disgrace to baseball, and I think it's sad to see someone of his talent and national recognition have things like that stain your career,' said Norris, who watched the scuffle unfold from the clubhouse following his concussion tests. 

"'I think it's sad that a player needs to take things to a certain level. I don't really understand it. Somewhere inside of him, he's gotta knows that he was in the wrong at some point. If you can't leave here today thinking that you didn't do anything wrong, something needs to happen, whether it happens internally over there or whatever.'" 

For his part, Machado told The Baltimore Sun's Alejandro Zuniga emotions running high during a heated game is to be expected. He said, "Obviously, it's going to get heated. But you can't do nothing about it. The only thing you can control is (to) come back out there and play baseball." 

Lee's colleague at MLB.com, Tracy Ringolsby, says Machado is in danger of getting suspended and fined up to $50,000 by MLB comissioner Bud Selig. Ringolsby also weighed in on how Machado's emotions have been getting the better of him this season. 

"A bit of advice for Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado: take a deep breath and relax. 

"He's one of the game's rising superstars. Four weeks shy of his 22nd birthday, he has dazzled young and old alike with is defensive skills and he has shown impressive offensive potential. 

"A year ago, his first full season in the big leagues, he not only made his first All-Star team, but won his first Gold Glove, and for the number-crunching crowd, his 6.4 WAR was the 10th best in the American League. 

"This year, though, he's also showing an emotional side that for his sake he has to to get under control, and he needs to do it quickly before he becomes tagged with a bad rap for his boorish behavior. 

"It was one thing on Friday night when he took exception to what he felt was too hard a tag by Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson, but it was quite another on Sunday afternoon when it appeared to the umpires and the A's that after being nearly hit by a pitch from A's reliever Fernando Abad in the eighth inning Machado let his bat fly in the direction of A's third baseman Alberto Callaspo. 

"That came in a game in which earlier, Machado twice hit A's catcher Derek Norris in the head with his back swing, the second time, in the sixth inning, resulting in Norris being removed from the game. Witnesses claim that Machado smiled about the backswing. 

"The Orioles can dispute that. 

"What can't be disputed is the danger of the bat throw.

"And what can't be ignored is that baseball is going to feel a need to discipline Machado with a suspension -- and a fine which could be in the $50,000 range."

For the 2014 MLB season, Machado has 32 hits, four home runs and 11 RBIs on a .235 batting average through June 9, per ESPN stats


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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