Rob Long: Now Wait Just A Minute
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Manny Machado was not being a good baseball citizen over the weekend at OPACY. It all began on Friday as Josh Donaldson tagged Manny in a rundown. As Machado fell he threw his helmet to the ground. As Manny got up he charged towards Donaldson and started shouting at him while standing nose to nose.
The Machado incident started a weekend of pettiness and childlike antics between the two teams. Boys will be boys, especially in the grand game of baseball. You knew it was going to happen. In fact, you knew Wei-Yin Chen would go after Donaldson as a sign of solidarity late in the game on Friday. It’s the baseball way and most of us get it.
What I did not like was what took place on Sunday afternoon. Fernando Abad threw the ball at the knees of Manny Machado in the bottom of the eighth inning not just once but twice. If I missed considerable time because of knee surgery that would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up too. I would probably charge the mound and commence to taking my frustration out on Abad. Maybe I get the best of him, maybe he gets the best of me. Either way, it’s going down right there.
That’s not what took place on Sunday. Manny Machado reacted by throwing the bat onto the field. One would speculate that Manny wanted to throw it toward the mound but missed. Either way, it was an immature display by the 21 year old. Manny had a bad weekend. He seemed focused on the wrong things during the entire series. He allowed the Oakland Athletics to get into his head and I’m not sure if that was the original plan for the A’s. It seemed like it just happened after Manny took exception to Donaldson’s tag.
We know all that took place last weekend. We saw it and we’ll all agree that we did not like it. However, it seems that a 21 year old is being judged based on three days out of his life. Because Manny Machado showed immaturity over a three day period, he’s been called a “Punk” and a “Child”.
Now wait a minute. I don’t like what took place on the field either but it’s unfair to label a young man from what should go down as a learning experience. He probably overreacted Friday and caused two bench clearing incidents as a result of it. Manny is likely to face a suspension as a result of what took place on Sunday as well. I think he deserves that suspension. I’m sure Buck Showalter and the veterans in the clubhouse will have a word or two with him as well. We know it was bad but does that mean Manny is a bad guy? I don’t think I’m ready to believe that yet. I’m going to chalk this up as a 21 year old acting immature. That’s what 21 do from time to time.
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