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The last time the Athletics and Orioles played, Manny Machado added his name to the list of players that A’s fans can’t stand. This list includes the likes of the slick-fielding Matt Garza, C.J. Wilson who decided the fans were just terrible and A.J. Pierzynski, who is on every fan base’s list.
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In case you have forgotten about Manny Machado’s antics, here is a brief refresher. Josh Donaldson tagged Machado out on a routine play, to which Machado flailed his arms and as he fell to the ground and threw his helmet at Donaldson. Not enough? Well, he also hit Derek Norris in the helmet with his backswing–twice. Sometimes that happens, but it was the complete lack of apology that drew the ire of A’s fans. Instead of checking on the catcher, he sat there and smirked as though that were his intent.
Lastly, (yes, there’s more) Manny Machado got a couple of pitches inside in the final game of the series. I won’t say that it didn’t look like Athletics’ reliever Fernando Abad was trying to hit him. My guess is he probably was. That’s just baseball. Abad missed with the first pitch, so he came back a second time. After the pitch had hit the catcher’s glove, Machado took a swing and let go of the bat. Where he was intending to throw it, only he’ll know, but the bat wound up near third base. If he was aiming for the pitcher, there was some serious intent to injure.
For his actions, Machado was eventually suspended 5 games. Even the Orioles’ broadcasters were saying that the bat throw was intentional, and criticizing his actions over the weekend. Kudos to them for their honest assessment of the situation.
That is the Machado Saga up to this point. The A’s faithful will be out in full force to let Manny know he is not welcome in Oakland. The bleacher regulars will be abandoning their posts to sit by third base, to make Machado as uncomfortable as possible.
The best thing for Machado to do this weekend is to be silent. Both verbally and at the plate. Nothing he says will dig him out of the hole he has created with his childish behavior. A quiet weekend at the plate may also help the fans forget about him.
Sometimes it’s all about who you surround yourself with. In Machado’s case, he has recently said that he considers Alex Rodriguez to be a “great friend”. You can make the steroid allegations if you’d like, but I’ll just say that the temper flare was due to facing another up-and-coming third baseman in Donaldson, not “roid rage”.
Machado was juiced to face him, and his competitive spirit transformed into a slight against him personally when the best team in baseball was handling the Orioles in Baltimore.
Manny Machado had better clean up his act soon. He is a young guy, and the public will not tolerate these antics for very long.