Honestly, I’m glad Manny Machado flipped out in the 8th inning of yesterday’s clubbing administered by the Oakland A’s.
I was a little concerned — selfishly — that I might have opened a can of worms this morning when I bashed him for his silly tirade on Friday night when – GASP! – he was tagged out by A’s 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson. I assumed a few folks in town would rally behind Machado when I chided him for being an over-sensitive wimp who was angry because Donaldson “tagged him too hard.”
Now you know why I was happy to see Machado go off the reservation yesterday.
There’s no defending him on that — and no defending him for Friday’s episode, either.
He obviously tried to throw his bat at the pitcher yesterday. That came on the heels of the pitcher trying to hit him (or, at the very least, “send a message”) with the previous pitch. All of that, I’ll remind you, was part of a Friday night debacle where Machado acted like a complete lunatic after Josh Donaldson tagged him out on a play near third base. My guess is there was plenty of chirping going on throughout the three games — between both Machado and the A’s — and the A’s quietly said to themselves, “Well, if we can somehow get a 10-run lead on these guys at some point, we’ll deal with the whiz kid.”
Sadly, Machado is turning into the very player we DIDN’T want to see with one of our hotshot rookies. He has apparently evolved into a cross between Bryce Harper (“I’m untouchable”) and Brett Lawrie (“If things don’t go my way, I just act like a jerk”). That’s not good.
I have no idea what sort of relationship Buck Showalter has with Machado. For all I know, Machado might completely march to the beat of his own drum and not listen to anyone, including his manager. That said, Showalter has a great opportunity to do some real coaching now. He can either protect his player or tell him the truth. If he tells Machado the truth, he’s going to hurt his feelings. But, truth be told, Machado embarrassed himself this weekend. He embarrassed the organization, too. And, in a weird way, he’s embarrassing Showalter, too. If the skipper can’t get his wonder-boy under control, we’ll all be left to wonder if Showalter has any juice (no pun intended) in the clubhouse or is he just the old guy who fills out the lineup card?
All Showalter has to do is have the tough talk with him that no one in the organization is willing to do: “Manny, you’re acting like a punk, now. You can’t spend the rest of your career getting pissed off every time something doesn’t go your way.”
Machado won’t like it. But it’s the truth.
He’s embarrassing himself.
I assumed he was above that, being 21 years old and a superstar and all.