Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good old sports rivalry? Don’t tell me you don’t love watching the Red Sox play the Yankees or that you despise watching the Dodgers face off against the Giants. Have you ever met a baseball fan that does not want to watch the Angels face off against their crosstown rivals the Dodgers in the Freeway Series or the Mets face off against their more successful New York counterparts AKA the Yankees in the Subway Series? Even if you are not a big sports fan, you have probably heard of some if not all of these rivalries.
I am here to announce that there is another huge rivalry in the making, it is between two division rivals and there is much controversy going on right now regarding these two teams. If you haven’t guessed already, it is between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles.
If you don’t know why there is a newfound feud between these two teams, then let me tell you exactly why.
On April 21st, 2017, in the eighth inning of a match between the Red Sox and the Orioles, Manny Machado made an errant slide into second base and caught Dustin Pedroia in the calf with his cleats. The play was reviewed by the umpires and the famous Chase Utley slide rule was not enforced. Machado didn’t think he did anything wrong and neither did Dustin Pedroia.
Despite it just being a mistake on Machado’s part, the Red Sox were furious and just two days later, Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Manny’s head. Machado dodged the pitch and the ball hit his bat, initially making it look like the ball had hit him. Barnes was ejected and later said that the pitch was not intentional.
Pedroia made sure to tell Machado that he had no involvement with Barnes actions, first by telling him while Manny was in the on-deck circle, then by texting him after the game (check out my cowriter’s article for a better take on the text) and making some postgame remarks where he denied any involvement with the incident.
Despite Barnes saying that throwing at Machado’s head was not intentional, the MLB suspended Barnes for four games and fined him an unknown amount of money.
A full week passed without any issues and everything seemed to be going back to normal between the two teams and then, in the sixth inning on May 1st, 2017, Orioles Pitcher Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts on the hip. It has no relevance as to whether it was on purpose or not because it just continues to fan the flames of the feud.
The next day, Red Sox superstar pitcher Chris Sale threw a pitch right behind Machado’s knees in the first inning. Warnings were immediately issued to both dugouts, and Sale, who struck Manny out on the next pitch to end the inning. It is hard to tell what this was retaliation for considering everything that has happened between these teams recently.
Manny Machado had finally had enough. He was absolutely sick of the Red Sox not letting the slide go and went off on aprofanity-laden tirade in the following interview…
I wish I could say that the beanball wars ended here, but not 2 minutes before I published this article, I received news that O’s pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected for hitting Xander Bogarts with a curveball. The feud continues!