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Was Manny Machado's slide into Dustin Pedroia dirty?

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USA TODAY Sports

Was Manny Machado's slide into Dustin Pedroia dirty?

Was Manny Machado's slide in the 8th inning a late slide or dirty slide? Machado certainly didn't think so, and he started to help Pedroia as soon as he popped up after contact was made.

Red Sox manager John Farrell had a slightly different take on the matter. 

"If the rule is in place to protect the middle infielder, then it didn't work tonight," Farrell said. "It was a late slide."

Dustin Pedroia, not so much. 

"I've turned double plays in the big leagues for 11 years," he said. "It's my job, and it's not the first time I've been hit and it won't be the last. It's baseball, man."

What say you: normal baseball play or dirty slide?

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Ryan Mountcastle still patiently waiting for Orioles debut to come


Ryan Mountcastle still patiently waiting for Orioles debut to come


Ryan Mountcastle has waited his entire life to make his major league debut. Now he’ll just have to wait a little longer. 

The 23-year-old slugger for the Orioles has essentially accomplished everything he could in the minor leagues. He climbed the organization's minor league ranks since the time he was drafted in 2015 and last season, in Triple-A Norfolk, he took off. 

Mountcastle slashed .312/.344/.527 with 25 home runs and was named the International League’s Most Valuable Player. 

Even still, he won't be on the Orioles' Opening Day roster this summer. 

“They communicated with me, I think right before all the names came out and said I was going to the alternate site,” Mountcastle said Monday. “A little upset, but at the end of the day they sent me down after spring to Triple-A and they said most of the guys they sent down were going to that alternate site.”

With service time the major issue with Mountcastle, just a week away from the roster will give the Orioles another year of team control before he hits free agency. In essence, the Orioles are making a long-term play to save money on Mountcastle down the line.

“He wasn’t one of the original players we brought in here,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Monday. “He’s going to go to Bowie, get some work in and be ready for us sometime this summer.”

Still, though, Mountcastle has work to do if he wants to become the everyday player like many expect him to become. 

RELATED: RUTSCHMAN READY FOR DEBUT, IF IT IS THIS SEASON

Last year in Norfolk, he played 81 games at third base, 84 games at first base and 26 in left field. But on Tuesday, Hyde indicated the team has basically moved on from trying Mountcastle at third base. Instead, they’re repping him constantly in the outfield with a few drills at first base sprinkled in-between.

“You’ll see him play the majority of time at left field, he might get a few reps at first base also, but we really want to make the primary focus left field because it’s new to him,” Hyde said. “It’s important for him and for us for him to be able to play the outfield. At this point, we’re not hitting him ground balls on the left side of the field, so we’re really focusing on his defense in left field primarily and first base next.”

In left field last year in Norfolk, his first season playing the outfield as a professional, he tallied a perfect fielding percentage and had 37 putouts with five assists. 

“There’s a lot that goes into the outfield,” Mountcastle said. “Just getting better routes, that’s all I was trying to do. Being able to put my head down and run and look up and be able to find the ball, stuff like that, as opposed to the infield. When you get a fly ball in the infield, you got your eyes on it the whole time.  But when you’ve really gotta put your head down and run in the outfield, it’s a little more tough.”

While his adjustment to the outfield is the predominant focus and discussion surrounding Mountcastle, there are still things he’s got to clean up before he makes a clean transition to the major leagues. Mountcastle, who is the 94th ranked prospect in baseball according to mlb.com, posted a 23.5 percent K-rate a season ago in Triple-A and just a 4.3 percent walk-rate. 

The clear response to those questions about Mountcastle, however, are to let him give it a twirl at the major league level. 

As for when he’ll get that chance, though, remains to be seen. 

“I worked my butt off my entire life to be a big leaguer,” Mountcastle said. “I want to be able to be up there and help the team win. I think I bring enough to the table to do that. Hopefully I get that call this year.”

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Adley Rutschman prepared for major league debut, if it comes this season

Adley Rutschman prepared for major league debut, if it comes this season

Adley Rutschman’s situation is a bit different than it was a year ago. 

Last July, he was the fresh-faced No. 1 overall pick touring Camden Yards and doing repeated interviews before he debuted for the Gulf Coast Orioles on July 20, 2019. 

Now, he’s got dyed blonde hair and is one of the newest additions to the Orioles’ 60-player pool for the upcoming season. Under normal circumstances, Rutschman’s debut wouldn’t have happened in 2020 -- and perhaps not even on Opening Day in 2021. But these aren’t normal circumstances. 

Rutschman was recently added to the Orioles’ player pool for the upcoming season, meaning the organization’s top prospect could make his debut at Camden Yards far sooner than anyone anticipated. The team’s development program kept him and other players involved for the last few months, while baseball waited.

RELATED: ORIOLES ADD FORMER NO. 1 PICK ADLEY RUTSCHMAN TO PLAYER POOL

And now, he can bake salmon and pesto chicken for dinner.

“I feel like the program just did a tremendous job as a whole of keeping guys engaged,” Rutschman said on a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon. “We had Zoom calls every single week. Multiple ones if you wanted to, just doing like yoga sessions, meditation, mindfulness meetings, cooking and some book clubs there as well. We had a lot of options and it really helped guys stay together during that time.”

Rutschman, who said with a smile it was nice to see players out of their baseball element, now has a much bigger challenge at hand, with the prospect of his debut now tangible.

The highest level of baseball Rutschman has played at was Single-A baseball. Now, he’s standing in the batter’s box at Camden Yards -- which could be a preview of the next few months.

“Being able to stand in the box and see big league arms and just take it all in for the first time, it’s something you never get back,” Rutschman said. “It just reminds me of the first time I stood in at the College World Series. The first time I stood in at a college stadium with the Beavers. You just never get that first time back. But just to have that first feeling, it’s unbelievable and just so exciting. You never get it back.”

Rutschman was sent to minor league camp before Spring Training was shut down in March, but now he’ll be on the Orioles’ 60-man player pool list the same week secondary camp opens in Bowie. 

Now, he’s competing for a chance to take major league at-bats in the late summer of 2020 -- something no one saw coming.

"I have no idea and it’s not really up to me," Rutschman said. "I am just here to do the best I can and get better every day. Whatever comes as a result of that is meant to be. I’m just happy to be here right now."

As for excitement about Rutschman’s impact on the Orioles, however, it’s important to note that expectations should be tempered. 

“Well this is Adley Rutschman’s first full year -- and he’s not even getting it,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “So it’s going to be a loss in development time with him, so I’m not going to speculate on when he’s going to make his major league debut or when that is going to be.”

Hyde did add, however, that he’s liked what he’s seen from Rutschman over the last few days in camp, extending back to Spring Training in Sarasota, Florida. 

“He’s a pro,” Hyde said. “He looks great, he’s swinging the bat really well, catching some major league pitching the last couple days, he’s done a nice job of also putting in a lot of work and time in the last few months.”

But in the same way the Orioles are focused on the development of young talent for the future, Rutschman has the same goal in mind. 

Whether or not Rutschman makes his debut early in the season, as it draws to a close, or even at all, isn’t the point of this year for Rutschman. It’s about getting live at-bats from major league arms, catching various pitchers in the organization and preparing himself for more consistent major league at-bats. 

And the better Rutschman handles that, the quicker those at-bats at Camden Yards will become commonplace.

“As far as right now, being at Camden Yards and getting to hit on a big league field, there is definitely adrenaline going on right now,” Rutschman said. “When you get on a big league field for the first time and are hitting off some of the big league guys, it’s definitely an adrenaline rush for me, just being my first time.”

Stay connected to the Orioles with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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