After Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson got into it Friday night, there is no reason why anyone should have been surprised that more drama occurred Sunday afternoon. Regardless if you are a fan of either team, Machado’s childish on-field antics deserve an immediate suspension if Major League Baseball wants to prevent any more incidents from the 21-year-old going forward.
Machado was heated Friday night after he tried to avoid a tag that Donaldson placed on him. The tag was perfectly legit as there was no wrongdoing intended. However, Machado was not pleased with the amount of force that Donaldson used, which caused him to throw a tantrum and consequently clear the benches of both teams.
Two games later, Machado is nearly beamed on two separate pitches by left-hander Fernando Abad. The reason for the attempted hit-by-pitch was a mixture of retaliation for Donaldson getting beaned by Wei-Yin Chen as well as Machado hitting catcher Derek Norris in the helmet during his backswing. While swinging at the second pitch that almost hit him, Machado launched his bat down the third base line. He claims the bat slipped out of his hand while making an aggressive attempt on the ball, but we all know that it was 100 percent intentional. That is why the umpire ejected both Machado and Abad.
I do not have a dog in either fight. However, as a fan of baseball, I want to see Machado get suspended for at least three games. There has to be a clear message sent that the sport is not going to tolerate young hot shots who think they are untouchable. Machado is a rising star, even if his numbers through 34 games this season does not exactly support the statement. For that reason, he must be used as an example. He could have seriously injured Norris with his careless backswing. Not to mention, who knows what would have happened if the tossed bat actually connected with third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
It was quite clear the thrown bat was intended for Abad, who was standing on the mound. That reason alone is why Machado needs to take a few games off.