MLB Network Radio hosts slam Manny Machado for bat-throwing incident

In 2013, his first full season in the big leagues, Manny Machado made the All-Star team, and led the league with 51 doubles. His season was ultimately cut short by a gruesome knee injury late in September that caused him to miss the first month of the 2014 campaign. Since returning this year, Machado has struggled, batting .235.

On Friday night, the 21-year-old Orioles third baseman was tagged between out between second and third by Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson. Machado, who fell awkwardly, took exception to the tag and slammed his helmet to the ground.

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Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen responded by plunking Donaldson in the sixth inning of Oakland’s 4-3, extra innings victory.

The sparks continued Sunday when Machado hit A’s catcher Derek Norris multiple times with his back swing, causing Norris to leave the game with concussion symptoms. With the A’s leading 10-0 in the eighth inning, Oakland reliever Fernando Abad threw inside on Machado twice. After the second pitch inside, Machado flung his bat, and it landed past third base. Donaldson had already been removed from the game, so it’s unclear if the bat was intended to hit Donaldson or Abad. (Machado insisted the bat slipped.)

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On Power Alley, Mike Ferrin and former Orioles general manager Jim Duquette discussed the intent of Machado’s actions.

“There’s no way that was an accident,” Ferrin said. “I’m not buying it. That was absolutely, legitimately trying to throw his bat, most likely at Abad, possibly at the third baseman.”

“I don’t understand what makes you make that decision,” Ferrin said. “What level of lunacy creates you to do something like that? That was unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Duquette said it was very out of character for Machado to fling the bat, and wondered if something non-baseball related is impacting Machado.

“There has to be something going on with this kid off the field,” Duquette said. “When you generally see that kind of lunacy on the field, it usually relates to something behind the scenes that we’re not aware of.”

First Pitch’s Todd Hollandsworth and Jim Memolo discussed the immaturity of Machado, who was drafted third overall by the Orioles in 2010.

“That was absolutely horrible,” Hollandsworth said. “Manny Machado clearly decided he was going to throw a bat on the ball field and let somebody know how he really felt in this ballgame, and it looked about as immature as some of the stuff I see at the 10-year-old, 12-year-old level.”

Memolo had more of an issue with Machado saying the bat slipped instead of taking responsibility for his actions.

“I know you have to explain it away so you don’t get too much of a suspension, but please do not insult my intelligence,” Memolo said.

“If that’s your real hand-eye coordination, then you probably shouldn’t be at the big level anyway,” Hollandsworth added.

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