It started with a hard slide that took out an infielder. It escalated a few days later when a pitcher threw a ball at the player who had made the slide.
If you’re thinking back to the Royals-A’s fracas from 2015, you’re not wrong. That started with Brett Lawrie’s hard slide that knocked out Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. A few days later, Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera threw a pitch behind Lawrie.
But the same thing happened over the weekend. Actually, the Red Sox and Orioles brouhaha was far worse.
Things started Friday when Baltimore’s Manny Machado had this slide that resulted in Boston’s Dustin Pedroia being spiked in the calf.
On Sunday, Boston’s Matt Barnes threw a pitch at Machado’s head, which is far worse than what Herrera did. Barnes said it was an accident, and fortunately Machado wasn’t hit in the head.
To his credit, Pedroia tried to let Machado know that he didn’t have anything to do with that pitch.
There is one other thing to note: Machado did not rush the mound as he did last season when he was hit by a pitch from late Royals star Yordano Ventura.
The Baltimore Sun asked Machado about holding back this time. Here is what he said:
“It’s just, you mature, I guess. I mean, I don’t know. You just mature about the situation. I don’t want to get suspended. I think everyone already knows that they think I’m the villain. It’s always me. I’m always — Manny always does something wrong. It’s never me. I just go out there and play the game that I love and leave it on the field, and I play with heart. Whatever happens in between the lines stays in between the lines, and I’m not going to really put more into it.”
Here are the videos of Lawrie’s slide into Escobar and Herrera’s pitch behind Lawrie. Herrera was suspended five games for that pitch. It will be interesting to see what the punishment is for Barnes.