Manny Machado is one of the best young players in all of baseball, but his antics over the weekend were ridiculous. He managed to empty the benches twice by acting like a 12 year old, or his off-season workout buddy Alex Rodriguez.
It all started when Machado was running from second to third on a grounder to Josh Donaldson at third. Machado tried to avoid the tag, but he lost his balance when Donaldson apparently tagged Machado too hard. Machado fell to the ground, slammed his helmet, and immediately got into Donaldson’s face, clearing the benches.
Later in the series, Machado managed to “accidentally” hit catcher Derrick Norris with his bat on his backswing.
It was all topped off when Machado swung at a ball down by his ankles, losing his bat that appeared to be intended for the Oakland A’s third baseman, but three things went wrong there.
1) The third baseman was Alberto Callaspo, not Donaldson who Machado had the beef with
2) The bat was nowhere close to the third baseman, instead had a better chance of hitting the third base umpire than Callaspo.
3) He claims the bat slipped out of his hand as he tried to make contact.
Now, the third thing does not immediately jump out as strange, bats slip out of batters hands, it happens. But when the ball is down and in at the ankles, and the swing would only make contact if the ball was letter high on the outside corner, it is pretty clear he was not actually trying to make contact.
Then again, this could work out really well for the Baltimore Orioles. It is likely Machado will be handed a suspension for his actions over the weekend, and given Machado’s comments after the game, he will likely appeal the suspension and claim he was trying to make contact with the ball.
Machado is arbitration eligible following the 2016 season, and while the Orioles will probably try to sign him to a deal before he gets there, might this swing be in the team’s favor should they go to salary arbitration?
Couldn’t you just imagine the two parties going before an arbiter, Machado’s camp saying “Manny is one of the best young players in all of baseball, just look at his numbers” and the Orioles responding with, “Yes, his numbers are fantastic, however, he claims this swing was an attempt to make contact with the ball, clearly there is some sort of underlying neurological issue yet to be discovered. We will pay him the league minimum but ensure he has health care for life to take care of the problem if it manifests itself again in the future.”
Hey, arbitration is said to be brutal, and when it comes to money people can do some crazy things, so I encourage the Orioles to keep this GIF in their back pocket.