Last year, the Orioles also threw over Mookie’s head
because he hit a few home runs against them.
Yet the Red Sox are widely perceived as the bad guys
in the fiasco because they failed in at least three attempts to drill Machado,
who went on an epic tirade after Tuesday’s Boston win at Fenway.
How has that happened? Buck Showalter doesn’t even try
to hide his the fact that he is a complete jerk every time he speaks in or
about Boston. He is the guy who, after all, started the 2017 Red Sox-Orioles
series by blasting the Red Sox for whining about being hit hard by the flu.
Machado has been praised for his “maturity,” even though
he was mouth flapping after his slide that should be, at best, an embarrassment
for any player above the Little League level. He also pimped a pair of home
runs by taking about 10 minutes to round the bases in Fenway this week.
But guys like David Schoenfield of ESPN are laying all
the blame on the Red Sox. Schoenfield wrote a piece posted early this morning
saying the Red Sox crossed the line. In it, he wrote Machado “accidentally”
Now, maybe Machado didn’t spike Pedroia intentionally.
But for someone to say he saw that slide and he assumes it was a complete accident
is not being honest. He also isn’t giving Machado’s baseball ability any
credit. We all know he can slide better than that. An honest observer will tell you the slide fell somewhere between malicious and accidental.
Schoenfield also downplayed Pedroia’s injury by
claiming the second baseman had to miss “a couple of games,” and he wrote that
Matt Barnes throw a “97 mph” fastball near Machado’s head.
Pedroia missed three games. It would have been four if
it wasn’t for a rain out. Barnes’ “97 mph fastball” was actually 90 mph
according to NESN. It was wrong for being by the head, but it was 7 mph less
wrong that Schoenfiled wrote. That is substantial.
Some Schmuck in Baltimore took it a step further. In a column published today, Peter Schmuck (that really is his name) of The
Baltimore Sun called on Commissioner Rob Mandred to end the nonsense. He called
for Chris Sale to be suspended for five starts for throwing at Machado.
Schmuck, though, isn’t a homer writer for the O’s. He
accidently omitted the throws at Betts and Benintendi just like Machado
accidentally slid spikes up
Why do the Orioles have the upper hand in the media,
and not just with the homers?
Well, you can point a finger right at Dustin Pedroia,
the unofficial captain of the Red Sox.
Whether he meant to or not, Pedroia threw his
teammates, coaches and manager under the bus when he told Machado, “It’s not me”
after Barnes’ threw at the Oriole hothead.
Pedroia’s postgame comments further buried the Red Sox
under the bus of public opinion, and they have yet to climb out.
It got to the point where we had to wonder which side
Pedroia would be fighting for when the teams inevitably engage in a
Pedey has given everything he has for the Red Sox for
a decade. He plays every pitch like his life depends on it, so his devotion
should not be questioned. If you’re a Red Sox fan, Pedey should be your
But, with David Ortiz enjoying his retirement, Pedroia’s
leadership is clearly lacking, at least publically.
Not everybody is leader, and Pedroia certainly has led
by example for his entire career. But right now, the 2017 Red Sox, who are
becoming tougher and tougher to watch (when Sale isn’t pitching), clearly have
a huge leadership void, and someone needs to step up.
Machado’s not-so-beautiful rant Tuesday night might
end up being the best thing for the Red Sox. He said he lost all respect for
everybody in the Red Sox organization. If we take Machado at his word, that
would mean he has lost all respect for Pedroia, too, and hopefully, those
feelings are mutual. They should be.
The next shoe to drop in this feud is going to be
Pedey getting plunked. You know it is going to happen because Buck Showalter is
just too much of a Buck Showalter for it not to. He doesn’t care that everybody
loves Pedey. He’s Buck Showalter.
If and when Pedroia is drilled, it might be the best
thing that could happen for the sputtering Red Sox. Nothing brings a team
together like a brawl surrounding the “heart and soul” of that team.
Plus, it might sway public opinion back toward the Red