And so the penalties have been handed out and the Manny Machado vs. Josh Donaldson/Fernando Abad/Oakland Athletics/people who like the unwritten rules of baseball saga marches on. Major League Baseball handed Machado a five-game suspension on Tuesday afternoon for hurling his bat toward third base after back-to-back pitches at his knees from A’s reliever Abad. Abad was not given a suspension, but was slapped with an undisclosed fine.
So what’s this suspension tell me? Two things.
A. The league didn’t think Machado hit A’s catcher Derek Norris in the head on purpose. Machado still should have looked back to see if Norris was okay, but based on the penalty, they likely believe that part of this incident was an accident. AND…
2. MLB doesn’t think Abad was targeting Machado’s rehabbing knee, which he injured at the end of last season and rehabbed all winter and spring. Both pitches were targeted in that location, though as someone not inside Abad’s head, I can’t tell you if he was trying for an injury or simply looking to move Machado away from the plate.
The Orioles beat writers report that Machado plans to appeal his five-game suspension, which in this non-expert blogger’s opinion is the right thing to do. Rather than me try to explain, then receive hateful tweets from A’s fans, I’ll just embed this tweet from someone smarter than me:
The Machado appeal is to delay the Orioles losing a key member during a crucial home stand, not to state he did nothing wrong.
— Don Olsen (@Olsen_Don) June 10, 2014
You want my opinion (not sure why you would, but okay)? I thought Machado would receive more than five games and that whatever MLB decided would be fair. MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that the Orioles would like the suspension to start after their next off day:
Ideally #orioles would like suspension to start after next thurdday off day so fresher 'pen if need send down reliever for extra INF
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) June 10, 2014
Image Credit: Keith Allison