Since the Red Sox and Orioles are going to yell “But he did it first!” at each other a dozen times with a spherical object, it’s time for mom and dad to step in and put the kids to bed.
Because eventually, if you keep rough-housing, someone’s going to get hurt.
They’ve already resorted to using bad words. Well, Manny Machado has, anyway.
MLB, Joe Torre and this umpiring crew at Fenway Park need to warn the Red Sox and Orioles ahead of Wednesday’s game. And Thursday’s game.
These teams can’t police themselves well enough, do it for them. (The national TV run is over, so the league office need not worry about ratings.)
In the backdrop of all this Red Sox-Orioles drama, or dangerous crap, or old-school grit — where ever you may fall on the spectrum — is a question of whether baseball should actually outlaw all this drama, or dangerous crap or old-school grit.
Really, a plunking war is all three of those things.
But if player safety is indeed a priority, it’s hard to argue against stiffer penalties for retaliatory pitches. The counterpoint is interpretation. If you implement say a 50-game suspension, and someone truly just loses control of a pitch — well, that’s no minor impact.
What do you do in the case of Chris Sale, an accurate pitcher, who badly missed Machado on Tuesday behind him and low? It’s certainly possible Sale intended to throw behind Machado, rather than hit him. It would actually be smart given how the game operates today, because it doesn’t endanger Machado and it still sends a message.
No one in baseball is really standing there advocating for pacifism. Whether they should isn’t really the question at hand. It’s, what happens now?
Machado kind of did throw up a peace sign Wednesday, in a really backwards way that sounded more like he just wants hitters to be on an even playing field for violence. He wasn’t offering his plans for an imminent conversion to Quakerism.
The O’s superstar appears to have matured since the days of throwing a bat at Fernando Abad, but Machado hasn’t matured to the point that he won’t talk about using his bat as a weapon.
“MLB should do something about it,” Machado said. “You have pitchers out there with [expletive] balls in their hands throwing 100 miles per hour trying to hit people.
“I’ve got a [expletive] bat too. I could go up there and crush somebody if I wanted to. But you know what, I’ll get suspended for a year, and the pitchers only get suspended for two games. That’s not cool.”
Poor Dustin Pedroia. He must be heartbroken. He told Machado he loved him, and Machado turned around and said he has no respect for anyone in the Red Sox organization.
But Machado is, ultimately, correct that it’s not cool to hurt people. He did, in fact, start this whole thing by hurting Pedroia.
Since the Red Sox and Orioles can’t seem to find a way to end this and Machado is now talking about the potential to “crush somebody,” MLB needs to swoop in and crush this back-and-forth before someone is concussed.