The Orioles are withholding comment on Manny Machado’s five-game suspension until later today, when a team official will address the media. In the meantime, they will continue to fume over the announcement that Machado’s punishment was not reduced.
The expectation coming from the warehouse was that Machado would have to serve a maximum of four games, with the possibility of a further reduction. Instead, he will miss the next five games, beginning with tonight’s series opener against the Rangers at Camden Yards.
The Red Sox’s Trot Nixon received a four-game suspension in 2002 for throwing his bat at Devil Rays pitcher Ryan Rupe. The Dodgers’ Pedro Guerrero was suspended four games in 1988 for throwing his bat at the Mets’ David Cone and charging the mound.
Four games of Machado’s suspension are tied to an incident on June 8 when he let go of his bat on a late swing and sent it spiraling toward third base, deemed by Major League Baseball as a retaliation for two inside pitches from Athletics reliever Fernando Abad. Abad was fined an undisclosed amount, but he didn’t receive a suspension.
One game of Machado’s suspension is related to an incident two nights earlier when he took exception to a tag from A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson, which he considered too aggressive. Machado threw his helmet while falling backward, jumped to his feet and got in Donaldson’s face as benches and bullpens emptied.
Order was quickly restored and neither player was ejected.
Is this an unprecedented ruling by Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations?
It’s a question that’s surely being posed today at Camden Yards.