If there’s a way to mask an 11-1 loss, an ugly display that includes 11 walks, it’s with another incident that empties the benches and bullpens and leads to more bad blood between two teams.
The score seems like a side note.
Third baseman Manny Machado was ejected in the eighth inning after the bat came out of his hands and spun toward Athletics third baseman Alberto Callaspo following consecutive inside pitches from reliever Fernando Abad.
Abad also was ejected. Everyone inside the A’s clubhouse is furious.
Machado told reporters afterward that it wasn’t intentional.
“The bat slipped out of my hands,” he said. “Trying to make contact and the umpire thought it was intentional and he tossed me at that point.
“The umpire thought it was intentional, so I guess at that point you’ve got to toss the pitcher and the hitter at the same time.”
Crew chief Larry Vanover wasn’t buying it.
“The pitcher was ejected for throwing at Machado. Machado was ejected for throwing the bat. Cut and dry, the whole thing right there,” Vanover told a pool reporter.
“It was obvious the pitcher threw at him the second time. The first time you have some doubt, but the second time there was no doubt he threw at him. And then (Machado) threw the bat. That wasn’t accidental. He threw the bat, so two ejections.”
Just another day at Camden Yards in a series that will be remembered more for the scrums than the scores.
Oakland’s John Jaso went after Machado and first base coach Wayne Kirby quickly intervened before punches were thrown.
“There is a certain respect that you have to have for this game and it’s a blessing for all of us to be where we are, and when I feel like somebody doesn’t see that and doesn’t respect the game as such, then it doesn’t sit well with me and I really don’t like it,” Jaso said. “That’s just what I felt. I felt like there was disrespect for the game coming from one player. I think guys like that need to be taught a lesson because there’s millions of other people that would love to have the spot that he has, and you know, if he doesn’t show his appreciation for it as such, then it irks me, I guess.
“I know there was the hard tag with (Josh) Donaldson that he said was hard, but you look at it on video and it’s just a normal tag. It’s like no big deal. You start to think about who does this guy think he is, and that causes, I don’t know, some drama to start, I guess. The game should be played the right way. And when it’s not played the right way, people should be told, you know, in a certain way. If we tell him one way, then it’s up to their club, their veteran guys to tell him another way, because it needs to be done.”
A’s catcher Derek Norris came out of the game after being hit on the helmet by Machado’s backswing. Oakland’s dugout apparently felt as though Machado didn’t show the proper remorse.
“That stuff does happen,” Jaso said. “I know as a catcher, whenever that does happen and the guy who did it is always like ‘Hey, are you all right?’ There is a certain etiquette spread across baseball. When people aren’t, I don’t know, not aware or if (they) just don’t care about that etiquette, there needs to be a lesson taught there. The backswing thing does happen. That little bit of camaraderie, it needs to be there.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked for the explanation he received for the ejections.
“They deemed it intentional, throwing at him, which was pretty obvious after the first one,” Showalter said. “They deemed that Manny threw his bat.”
Is Showalter concerned about a possible suspension for Machado?
“Probably the same level that I’m sure they’re worried about a suspension for Abad,” he replied.
“I think if you look at it realistically, you had two competitive people the first day that both were probably a little right and both of them a little wrong. I always try to let the players handle those things instead of getting involved with them. And I’ve been very careful through the years.
“Two days ago, they had a disagreement over what Manny perceived as something and I’m always going to support him. And then two days later in a 10-0 game in the eighth inning, someone decided to do something else. I’ll manage my club accordingly and they can live with their decisions.”
Showalter was concerned that the incident would spark a brawl and he raced onto the field - the best that his surgically repaired knee would allow - to get in the middle and protect the players within reach.
“Yeah, I’m sure they’ll review some things that happened,” he said. “I was trying to make sure it didn’t. I’ll be icing my knee down. How about you?”
Showalter speculated that Machado’s reaction Friday to Donaldson’s tag was related to his knee surgery in October. What about today?
“I think that probably had something to do with two days ago,” he said. “Off-balance, after the tag put him in harm’s way with the knee. I don’t know if they took any exception to Manny accidentally tipping their catcher’s (helmet). I don’t know. You’ve got to ask them. I just know that it’s real easy to get caught in the emotion of something as a manager to make a decision that takes a lot more guts sometimes to say no instead of being there responsible for something that someone loses their career over. I’ve tried with the years, think a little bit before you shoot from the hip.
“I thought Manny responded very well in that game and had some very good at-bats in this series compared to some other people who might have been involved in altercations. I thought Manny handled it better than someone with some experience did. It was also a good experience for him to have. He cares. It’s a learning experience for all of us.”
Showalter made certain that left-hander T.J. McFarland wouldn’t retaliate, telling him, “No,” so as not to risk injuries to his club.
I already checked the schedule. The teams play in Oakland immediately following the All-Star break on July 18-20.