Not satisfied by throwing five-ounce projectiles 95 miles per hour at every part of Manny Machado in the last Orioles-Red Sox series, including once at his head, Boston took one more crack at injuring the Orioles best player on Tuesday:
This is all seemingly stemming from Machado’s hard slide into Dustin Pedroia on April 21. For those keeping track — as I’m sure Machado is — that is six times he’s been thrown at in the last four games against the Red Sox. It is, for lack of a better phrase, fucking bullshit, and Manny has had enough:
A few points here:
1. Manny is correct, this is fucking bullshit. But we covered that.
2. Hopefully he doesn’t decide to use his bat to take things into his own hands, but his point is well taken: pitchers have the power to use baseballs as weapons and there’s nothing the hitter can do. It’s an incredibly dangerous situation, as SB Nation’s Marc Normandin detailed this morning.
3. Aside from people potentially being seriously injured, this is all making for an incredibly fun rivalry between these two teams. It helps that Manny keeps dropping bombs on Boston — he’s gone deep in each of the last two games.
4. This rant got the remix it deserved:
On Wednesday night, Manny Machado did this to Albert Pujols:
It was an amazing play, and one we’ve come to expect from Manny. But just to prove it was no fluke, he did it again last night. And again, it was against Albert Pujols:
Both were incredible, and both throws came from about 10 feet into foul territory:
But what really made the second one special was Manny doing this:
There’s a man running to first base with no outs in a tie game in the 11th inning, and Manny Machado, about half a football field away from first base, is gonna take a moment to check out the baseball, gather himself, get his grip right, and then throw the runner out. I can’t wait to watch him do this for the next 15 years.
Neither of those are new for Machado, who’s on pace to break baseball’s season record for doubles and who draws natural comparisons to Baltimore legend Brooks Robinson, one of the great third basemen ever and the man generally acknowledged as the greatest defensive player at the position.
Robinson didn’t hit quite like this, though. Through 123 games and 503 career at-bats, 20-year-old Machado’s slash line is .300/.331/.473. That’s well above Robinson’s .268/.322/.401. If you want to adjust for eras and other factors, Machado’s career OPS+ is 117, Robinson’s was 103.
Harper mostly played catcher this season for Southern Nevada, but he also saw time at third base and in the outfield. Once he signs his monster deal (hopefully in advance of August 15) it’s to the low minors he’ll go, where he’ll work on playing right field. Watch out, Roger Bernadina.
As good as Harper and Machado are now and legends though they may become, neither figures to be in the big leagues until at least 2012 — or later. Which is a shame, because I’m tired of their new organizations picking in the top five every June.
Welcome to professional baseball, gentlemen. It’s a long way up.