The word has come down from Major League Baseball that Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will be suspended for five games for the Sunday afternoon bat throwing incident against the Oakland A’s. There will also be an undisclosed fine.
The announcement was made by Senior Vice President for Standards and Operations for Major League Baseball, Joe Garagiola, Jr.
Oakland pitcher Fernando Abad also received an undisclosed fine for throwing at Machado.
The entire situation and furor that followed it from all over baseball and the sports world pretty much assured or demanded something of this nature. It all seemed very much out of character for the Manny that we as O’s fans have seen over his brief time in the Bigs. In fact, the primary viewpoint has been to marvel at how well he has handled all that has come to him in such a short time and at such a young age.
The appearance is that a lot of “stuff” has built up in him and it all came out in one small window of time. There is the “stuff” of the injury and surgery, the winter of recovery and work, and the return that has been a grind without the obvious high-level results of a year ago.
So how will the Orioles play without him? Well, one would assume that Ryan Flaherty would take the position for this time with Jonathan Schoop at second base. It is likely that Steve Lombardozzi will also be called up from AAA Norfolk.
However, later breaking news is that this will be appealed, and therefore the process would be delayed for any actual suspended time – whatever amount of time that may be. Machado is playing this evening for the Orioles in his normal spot – second in the order.
I will opine that an appeal will not help the situation and Manny’s reputation moving forward – better to take it and put it behind. Perhaps the much lesser punishment to Abad is a sticking point? The Orioles do lose a player for the duration of the suspension, and that is an issue of course.
Frankly, Manny’s play both in the field and at the plate has not been what it was in 2013 nor what it will be in 2015. With Machado in the lineup, the O’s are 18-17, without him they are 14-13. This is manageable; but the Orioles do want to see Manny Machado get back to Manny being Manny – and that is not a reference to a previous Manny of the dreadlock variety.
For an article on previous bat-throwing incidents and punitive actions related to such – along with a video of Manny reflecting on the situation – check this article and video from the Baltimore Sun.