The A’s had strong words for Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado after he threw his bat during an eighth-inning incident Sunday that cleared the benches at Camden Yards.
Machado sent his bat flying down the third-base line -- seemingly intentionally –- after the second of two very inside pitches from A’s reliever Fernando Abad. The pitches surely were in response to the Orioles throwing inside and hitting Josh Donaldson on Friday, after Machado took exception to a tag from Donaldson.
John Jaso was the first A’s player to reach Machado after the benches cleared and got right in Machado’s face before Orioles first base coach Wayne Kirby separated the two. It added some late spice to a blowout the A’s won 11-1.
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“There’s times in baseball where a guy with that kind of talent (acts) like he’s got 10-plus years in the big leagues,” Jaso told CSN California’s Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse after the game. “That doesn’t really fly well with me and I don’t think it flies well with a lot of players. Sometimes those guys need to be brought down a little bit so they play the game right.
“Obviously there’s a few examples from this series where he isn’t playing the game right, and it’s kind of a disrespect to the game. I know there’s veteran presences over there with the Orioles, and I think it’s up to them to kind of take control of the situation.”
The A’s also were ticked about a sixth-inning incident Sunday, when Machado’s bat twice hit A’s catcher Derek Norris unintentionally during his backswing. Norris was struck in the head with one of them and was so shaken up he had to leave the game. In the whole time Norris was being attended to at home plate, Machado never glanced in Norris’ direction or made any effort to apologize or ask if Norris was OK.
Norris told reporters he thinks he actually caught Machado smiling after one of the backswings, and labeled Machado’s behavior “a disgrace to baseball. Things like that stain your career.”
Norris said he passed his concussion tests, and manager Bob Melvin expects Norris to be available for Monday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.
Machado and Abad both were ejected from the game over the eighth-inning incident. Afterward, Machado claimed that the bat slipped out of his hands.
The A’s weren’t buying it.
“That was the worst temper tantrum I've probably ever seen on a baseball field," A’s starting pitcher Scott Kazmir said. “He tried to say that he lost the bat. That clearly wasn't the case.”
Photo of Manny Machado courtesy of USATSI.