Updates from Monday, June 30
The Baltimore Orioles announced when Manny Machado will begin serving his five-game suspension:
Major League Baseball has upheld Manny Machado’s 5-game suspension. He will begin serving the suspension tonight.— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 30, 2014
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports shared the Orioles' view of the decision:
Sources: #Orioles livid Machado suspension was not reduced from five games. Trot Nixon, Pedro Guerrero got four for throwing bat at pitcher.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 30, 2014
During an All-Star rookie campaign, Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado consistently looked like a seasoned veteran both at the plate and in the field. This past weekend against the Oakland Athletics, though, the 21-year-old finally showed his youth.
His actions have earned him a five-game suspension, the league confirmed:
Manny Machado suspended 5 games & fined for intentionally throwing bat onto field on Sunday. A's P Abad also fined.— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) June 10, 2014
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports was first to report the news:
Source: MLB will suspend Machado for five games. Machado plans to appeal.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) June 10, 2014
The Orioles confirm Machado remains in the lineup:
Dan Connolly and Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun provide more from Machado:
Machado said hes distracted by this stuff but he's concerned its distraction for team. Wants it over. Just doesn't want to b lost for 5 gms— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) June 10, 2014
Machado said he hopes to get suspension reduced with appeal. #Orioles— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) June 10, 2014
Following the news of the suspension, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports weighed in with advice for Machado:
Unsolicited advice for manny machado: accept the 5-game ban, then grow up.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 10, 2014
Buster Olney of ESPN also discussed the ban in relation to suspensions for pitchers throwing at batters:
The 5-game suspension for Machado sends a message that it's less of a crime throwing a bat at someone than a ball. Which makes no sense.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 10, 2014
On Friday night, the young third baseman didn't particularly enjoy an enthusiastic tag applied by Josh Donaldson. Machado slammed his helmet down and got in Donaldson's face, and benches subsequently cleared:
That was mere child's play compared to what he did Sunday, though.
With the A's leading 10-0 in the bottom of the eighth, reliever Fernando Abad brushed Machado off the plate with a pitch around his knees, leading to a lengthy stare-down from the youngster. The very next pitch came inside—intentionally inside, according to home plate umpire Larry Vanover—and Machado responded by letting his bat fly dangerously toward Alberto Callaspo at the hot corner:
It was an immature, dangerous stunt, and most agreed a suspension was inevitable. The only debate seemed to surround the severity of the punishment.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan didn't hold back in his interpretation of the incident:
Just saw what Manny Machado did. Unconscionable. Dangerous. And very worthy of a substantive suspension. He's 21. Well past time to grow up.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 8, 2014
In an interview Monday with Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, via Sporting News' Justin McGuire, Machado was apologetic:
I want to apologize to all my teammates, my coaching staff, the Orioles organization and Oakland, and the fans also, for the way I acted and overreacted on that. It was a frustrating weekend, and I just let my emotions get the best of me.
When things happen like this you're definitely going to learn. It's going to make me a better player and it's going to make me a better man. Looking forward, I hope I learn from it and don’t make the same mistake.
Alas, while he sounds remorseful and doesn't have a checkered history, Machado's actions were senseless, and there's very little question he is deserving of the punishment doled out by MLB.
What do you think of Machado's suspension?
The only thing he can do from here is use the time off to get his head right. After leading the league with 51 doubles as a rookie, Machado, recovering from offseason knee surgery, is hitting a mediocre .229/.283/.336.
O's general manager Dan Duquette, via Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, even suggested a stint in the minors is an option at this point.
Either way, the Orioles, who are currently second in the AL East, will hope this suspension churns out the 2013 version of Machado.