Apr. 24, 2017
Red Sox aren't happy with Manny Machado's "late slide" on Dustin Pedroia
Even though it's only April, tension seems to be turning up between division rivals Boston and Baltimore. During the Orioles 2-0 win over the Sox Friday night, a scary moment for the Red Sox unfolded. Second Baseman Dustin Pedroia had to leave the game in the bottom of the 8th inning after injuring his knee. The injury happened after Orioles third baseman Manny Machado slid into second base and spiked Pedroia's knee trying to break up a double play. Although Machado tried to break Pedroia's fall, the Sox heart and soul crumbled to the ground and was then helped off the field.
With last nights win, Baltimore now has a two-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. Though all the attention was on the play at second between two of the leagues best players. The Red Sox, especially manager John Farrell, was not happy about the slide from Machado. According to ESPN reporter Scott Lauber, Farrell referred to the play as an "extremely late slide." When asked if it was a dirty play, Farrell repeated angerily that it was a "late slide." Many of the Sox players and staff were reportedly watching the replay of the slide frame-by-frame to see how the play unfolded. The team was clearly pissed, and for good reason. Farrell and the players were yelling from the dugout and third base coach Brian Butterfield was even ejected for yelling at an umpire. Pedroia reportedly was more worried about his surgically repaired knee being hit rather than the slide. Over the offseason, Pedroia had surgery to clean up his left meniscus. Pedroia felt that it was Machado's job to take him out at second.
Farrell said after the game that Pedroia is "sore" and that the injury "could've been a lot worst." The Sox at the moment appear to have dodged a huge bullet to their veteran leader who has dealt with injury problems in the past. But that doesn't mean the team is going to forget what happened. Even though Machado may not have intentionally tried to hurt Pedroia, the play took out their leader and it will be interesting to see if the Sox retaliate. Retaliation would most luckily come from a Sox pitcher throwing at Machado's back. I sign off on it, the Sox should show some backbone, defend their undeclared captain, and send an early message to their division foes. Even Orioles manager Buck Showalter knows what could be coming in the future. Orioles MLB.com reporter Brittany Ghiroli tweeted that "Buck didn't say much about Machado slide but did say he knows how these things usually go the next day." Ghiroli also tweeted that Machado texted Pedroia after the game and that Machado isn't worried about the potential for the Sox to retaliate.
Steven Wright will start for the Sox tomorrow night in game 2 of this series, and every Machado at-bat will have the chance of ending with him taking one off his back. Or, the Sox can elect to wait until later in the season and even let Chris Sale be the one to plunk Machado. Either way, the Sox shouldn't forget and let this one slide.