Asked for his reaction to the suspension being upheld, Showalter replied, “For public consumption?”
“I’m not going to go there,” he continued. “But I knew from our team standpoint that we were going to be without Manny for some period of time and we felt like it would probably be today, considering how things operate on the weekend with precedent. So, initially, just going into the mode of what we’re going to do for X number of days. We know exactly how many days we have to work without him. That was initially. That was actually second. I have to be frank. That was second.”
Was he surprised that the suspension wasn’t reduced?
“What’s surprising?” he asked. “It is what it is. I’m not going to dwell on it. We understand the rules and why things are in place for different reasons and you react accordingly. There are repercussions for all actions, not only in baseball but in life in general. Hopefully, there will be some positives to come out of it where Manny’s concerned in the future, and for all players, coaches, managers, whatever.”
Can Machado finally put the incident behind him?
“I don’t know how you define ‘put it behind you,’ ” Showalter said. “I’m sure it’s hanging over. He’s starting to swing the bat pretty well, too, and we know he’s played good at third base. I don’t know if you can put it behind you until ...
“I know it’s frustrating for him. I talked to him today when he first got here, trying to let him know what he can do and not do the next few days. Been trying to help him with where he might want to watch the game from, make sure we follow protocol for this. It’s not like something that’s unexpected. We just weren’t sure about the length.”
Machado’s suspension announcement came after a three-game series against the Athletics that concluded on June 8. His appeal hearing took place on Wednesday. So, why the long delay?
“There’s some precedent there,” Showalter said, again measuring his words carefully. “I’m sure they were trying to gather things. I’m sure they’ve got good reasons for it. Regardless of when it happened, you know it’s going to happen. There’s never a good time for that to happen to start with and there’s never a good time for ...
“That’s part of the reason why you play at 24. You have to penalize the club, too. We’ll take it and view it as an opportunity to overcome some adversity that is self-inflicted. I try to keep that in mind.”
Chris Davis moves across the diamond to third base tonight.
“I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get Delmon (Young) in there,” Showalter said. “Steve (Pearce) has made it hard on us. I think it hurts us off the bench a lot. Delmon, and Steve when he was there, we had really good weapons off the bench late in the ballgame. But other than (Adrian) Beltre, I don’t think anybody’s had more experience at third base, including Manny, than Chris Davis.
“Certainly, he’s not Manny, but Chris has been very quietly working on this for a little less than a week. Bobby (Dickerson) and him have been doing some things at third base.
“It’s a challenge for us defensively, but I think it’s more about trying to put our best foot forward defensively without Manny. We’ll be able to get Delmon’s bat in the lineup, but it really cramps us on the bench.”
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “O’s Xtra” that begins at 6:30 p.m. on MASN HD.