Tha Sports Junkies 101

Red Sox vs. Orioles: The Everlasting Feud

(Left) picturepostcardbaseball (Right) steve_trapani via Flickr.com

MLB

There has always been bad blood between division rivals Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, but the feud never really fizzled like how it has this season.

 

April 21 – The Slide

2-0 in the eighth, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia took a spike to the leg as Oriole third baseman Manny Machado slide into him. Machado showed sympathy towards Pedroia by helping him up after the take down and publicly apologized to him. Pedroia had this to say

“I’ve turned double plays in the big leagues for 11 years. That’s my job. That’s not the first time. It won’t be the last.”

And that should have been it. But the fact that it was Machado that slid into Pedroia blew things out of proportion. Machado has been known to do things like this and it seemed the Red Sox had enough of it.

Pedroia was scratched from the game the next day, April 22.

 

April 23 – Behind the head

After an MRI was scheduled for Pedroia earlier that day, reliever Matt Barnes found an opportunity to retaliate while holding a six run lead.

In the eighth, Barns threw a fastball behind Machado’s head. Barns was immediately thrown out of the game. From the dugout, Pedroia took the liberty to apologize to Machado on Barnes’ and his behalf. Pedroia then publicly stated he believed the slide was unintentional.

That should have been the end of it, but we’re just getting started.

Later that day, Orioles closer Zach Britton uselessly calls out Pedroia saying he lacks leadership because he can’t control his own teammates. This comment began spinning this out of control.

 

May 1 – Live at Fenway Park

It seemed it was Baltimore’s time to retaliate if they were looking for it. At first it seemed they didn’t, but things would get out of hand.

Machado had a phenomenal game. Defensively: all over the place. Offensively: he hit a dinger. But that would be overshadowed by what transpired in the sixth. Orioles pitcher Dylan bundy pegged Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in the hip with a fastball. Boos rained down as hatred and anger flooded the Fenway fans, and that was on full display.

As the hit-by-pitched overshadowed Machado’s great game, an event overshadowed Bundy’s actions.

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones announced that he was called racial slurs and had peanuts projected towards him. Fans were ejected from the game, but reminded us that this rivalry is small compared to the racism that exists in today’s world. Something that goes beyond baseball.

That night, the same Betts that was pegged, asked Boston fans to “stand up” for Jones in the May 2nd game as a symbol of unity.

Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia said when he goes to Boston, he expects this kind of behavior.

 

May 2 – Why is this still a thing?

The night began on a positive note as fans responded to Betts’ tweet and stood up for Jones when his name was called in the top of the first. Boston’s starter Chris Sale stepped off the mound as Jones received a warm standing ovation. Betts clapped for Jones in left field.

Then things took a turn for the worst.

Sale then threw a knee-high fastball behind Machado, the next at bat after Jones in the first. The home plate umpire warned both benches. Machado would later get his revenge with a towering home run. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t matter as the O’s lost 5-2 in another 10+ strikeout Sale game.

Machado then called out the Boston organization.

“Get thrown at my fu**ing head. They’re fu**king throwing everywhere. It’s fu**king bulls**t you know. I’ve lost my respect for that organization.”

 

May 3 – The Ejection(s)

In the bottom of the second inning, Orioles starter Kevin Gausman hit Red Sox short stop Xander Bogaerts on the hip with a 77 mile per hour curveball. Seemingly unintentional, but not to home plate umpire Sam Holbrook who ejected Gausman from the game. Jones was later ejected aswell for arguing balls and strikes.

Holbrook wanted the feud to end and stood by his decisions in the game.

 

May 4 – Machado speaks out

In the fourth and final game of the series, Machado helped Baltimore split the series as he blasted a towering three-run-home run over the Green Monster. In this, Machado spoke metaphorically, but would literally speak out later that day. When asked if he was relieved that no one was thrown at that game Machado said

“We’re playing baseball. What happens between the field stays between the lines. We’ve just got to go out there and control what we can control and go about our business.”

 

The Aftermath

This whole feud came from a place of absolute uncertainty. I believe Machado’s slide, the slide that started it all, wasn’t intentional at all. He picked up Pedroia and showed regret immediately after he fell. Then personally apologized to him later that day.

But, speaking on behalf of Barnes actions, they were warranted. There are unspoken rules to the game, and Barnes realized it. I agree with his action to go after Machado, tit for tat. What I don’t agree with is the location he wished to peg Machado in.

Someone slides into your player, your star player, I believe you have every right to peg him. You, however, do not have the right to go after his head. A simple fastball on the hip. That’s all that’s needed. It gets the message across.

Looking past that, it should have ended there. Nothing more was needed. Especially from the Baltimore bench. It should have ended with Barnes pegging Machado on the hip in Baltimore and should not have spiraled in Boston.

Hopefully this have ended and will not spiral even more in their next series June 1 in Baltimore.