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Don’t ignore the key point Manny Machado made with his ‘threat’

Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes Manny Machado being thrown at again, a weird triple play, and a Corey Kluber injury.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

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Manny Machado isn't going to charge the mound with bat in hand the next time a Red Sox pitcher throws at him. Well, probably not. When Machado suggested that he could do that very thing following Tuesday's game — in which the Red Sox, courtesy Chris Sale, threw at Machado againwhat the Orioles third baseman was trying to get across in his expletive-laden postgame interview is how dangerous and uneven the playing field is for hitters in these situations.

The pitchers have a dangerous weapon in their hands that they can buzz by batters at 100 miles per hour. The hitters just kind of have to take that abuse: If they charge the mound, bat or no, they're likely to get ejected, fined, and suspended. Pitchers can just keep on throwing baseballs at hitters, though, until an umpire goes "Hey, guys, that's enough. I'm warning you, the next time a projectile that could literally kill someone is thrown at a batter, there will be one, maybe two ejections."

The Red Sox threw at Machado five times in their previous series, all because Machado had a dirty, but likely accidental, slide against Dustin Pedroia that knocked him out for a few games. Pedroia seems to be the only Red Sox player over the incident, as he publicly denounced Matt Barnes throwing behind Machado.

As Grant Brisbee wrote back when this happened, pitchers can barely be trusted to throw where they want to when they're working in the strike zone. It's pretty easy to screw up and hit someone in the head when you're trying to throw behind him or in tight.

MLB needs to do something about these incidents. Suspensions shouldn't be for just a few games anymore. Escalate these things to a number of games that becomes a drag on the team: You won't see Chris Sale winging baseballs behind Machado if he's going to miss five or six starts because he had to show that it is he who has the reddest of asses. That wouldn't be standing up for your teammates anymore: It would be letting them down, and you know players want to avoid doing that.

  • As a response to Adam Jones having racial epithets yelled at him during Monday's game, Fenway's crowd gave him a standing ovation before his first at-bat on Tuesday. It's a nice gesture and all, but that's all it is: We'll do this whole song-and-dance again the next time a Boston fan is verbally racist against an athlete.
  • The White Sox are off to a good start, but is that enough to make them regret dealing away key players like Chris Sale and Adam Eaton?
  • If you think I'm exaggerating about the next time Boston is racist toward an athlete, you should probably listen to what CC Sabathia had to say about playing there.