Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) covers the Orioles for MASNsports.com and writes a segment titled “School of Roch.” He also had the exclusive interview with Manny Machado on Monday, where Manny apologized for his actions over the weekend.
Roch joined the Scott Garceau Show with Ken Weinman (@KenWeinmanSport) in for Jeremy to talk about the Orioles and Manny Machado.
Scott begins by asking Roch about the suspension and the appeal process with Manny. Roch explains that, should he decided to appeal, “They’re in New York next week, they have the off-day on that Thursday and then the 3 game series. But then Buck said ‘ya know it could be before that though. You can do it on a conference call.’ But obviously the Orioles have thought about what works best for them because they can massage their lineup or their roster a little bit. You can’t replace Manny. You’ll be at 24 players but you could send down a reliever and bring up an extra infielder, such as Steve Lombardozzi. Buck would rather do that starting on that off-day. Although that day wouldn’t count against Manny’s suspension, at least you would have a more well rested bullpen following that off-day. I think that’s what they’d like to do if he’s going to have to serve it and he’s going to.”
He went on to say that there are a few options for Manny: “The best you can do is hope that it gets reduced but Buck did leave open a possibility that Manny could wake up tomorrow and decide to drop the appeal and if that happens you begin serving the suspension immediately but the Orioles need to know that in time to get somebody up here and make that roster move. So stay tuned. There’s still a chance he could just drop the appeal and just serve it. That’s what Chris Davis told us today. If it were up to him, if it were his suspension he would just want to get it over with. I think it’s understandable that Manny wants to help the team and reduce it plus I’m thinking the [MLB] Players Association probably thinks he should appeal it.”
“There’s a lot of things they you have to take into account. It’s not like they’re going wipe out the five games of the suspension.” Kubatko said about Machado appealing his suspension for throwing his bat at third base. “The key is you hope you have it reduced, and again, it depends on when you would start it, what series you would be available for, how it would most, not benefit the Orioles, but how it helps them the most being a player short.”
“According to the Sun’s TV critic I was too soft with my questions but basically it was the same questions that were asked post-game when everyone else had access to him and I guess I was the one delivering them in a softer tone, maybe.” Roch talks about his interview with Manny on Monday, “It was OBVIOUS that Manny wanted the opportunity to apologize and I’m sure that besides the fact that he probably came to that conclusion himself, especially after watching the video, I have a funny feeling that the Orioles also, higher-up, said ‘Look, you’re going to make this right. This is an embarrassment to the organization and to try and claim the bat accidentally slipped out of his hands. I mean who are we kidding? We all saw the video.’ So, he wanted to issue the apology and I thought it went well. Obviously you’d prefer and the Orioles would have preferred that he would have said that after the game but emotions were still running high. And lets not forget… he is still a 21 year old kid.”
He goes on to say that Manny and the team, who have hopes to be playing for a World Series, are ready to put this behind them and move forward. They can’t do that until the suspension is over. He also notes that Manny has some work to do: “Manny has got some repair work to do on his reputation and he knows that. It’s unfortunate. He’s not a bad kid, he’s not a ‘punk’ but that is how he is being portrayed right now.”
On Ubaldo Jiminez’s struggles and what is causing them: “Obviously the Orioles expected better, or you wouldn’t have signed the guy for $50 million over four years. But they also knew that there were going to be ups and downs with him, that’s his career pattern. They were just hoping that the downs would be mostly April.”
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