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Machado: Jonathan Papelbon is a coward

Manny Machado

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado (13) gets hit by a pitch by Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, not seen, during the ninth inning of an interleague baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Washington. Papelbon was ejected from the game. The Orioles won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


Manny Machado hit a two-run home run with two outs in the seventh in last night’s Nationals-Orioles game. He maybe admired it a bit. And he had a right to. It was a big home run that ended up winning the game for the Orioles. If you do something good and cool and productive at your job, I hope you’re pretty pleased about it yourself.

Of course you don’t have Officer Jonathan Papelbon of the No Fun Police working at your office. Papelbon disagreed with Machado that his home run was cool, and hit him with a pitch when he came to bat in the ninth.

It was quite obviously intentional too. He threw one up and in to him at first, then a curveball away to throw suspicion, then came in again and hit him up on the shoulder with a 93 m.p.h. fastball, which could quite easily have hit him in the face or head. Watch:

[mlbvideo id="497902183" width="600" height="336" /]

Every time I write about someone throwing at a batter intentionally, the armchair jocks come out of the woodwork to tell me that such behavior is totally fine and that I simply don’t understand it because I never played the game or something like that. I presume y’all will do that again, so I look forward to hearing from you. Just understand that you’re all wrong about that, that stuff like this from Papelbon has no place in the game and that he ought to be suspended for a long, long time for doing it, as should any pitcher who does.

Of course, I’m not alone in this. After the game Machado said “that’s just bulls***. It’s coward stuff. It’s just cowardly.” I’ll also add that it’s stupid and dangerous because, baseball’s unwritten rules being what they are, it’s almost certain that Papelbon’s jackassery is going to get his own team’s best player hit today. And that player knows it. Here’s Bryce Harper’s comments about it:

“Manny freakin hit a homer, walked it off and somebody drilled him. It’s pretty tired . . . I’ll probably get drilled tomorrow.”

It is tired. And stupid. And dangerous. And if you want to go all-in with a guy like Jonathan Papelbon when it comes to judgment, be my guest. But if you do you’re just as wrong as he is. I hope he gets suspended a good long time, even if I know he won’t be because basically everyone in baseball is content to turn a blind eye to this sort of crap:

See what I mean?