Machado suspended five games for throwing bat
Orioles third baseman plans to appeal ruling resulting from incident with A's on Sunday
BALTIMORE -- In his apology following Monday night's game, Manny Machado said a suspension from Major League Baseball had crossed his mind. What the 21-year-old didn't say was that he would go along with whatever punishment was handed down.
Machado was given a five-game suspension on Tuesday afternoon for his actions in Sunday's benches-clearing incident with the Oakland Athletics, and he will appeal the punishment to try to lessen the sentence. At least, that's the plan for now.
"I think right now he's going to appeal and take 24 hours to think about the next step," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Machado, who was ejected from the 11-1 loss after throwing his bat toward third base after consecutive brushback pitches from reliever Fernando Abad.
"Plus, probably the most important thing for him right now is make sure he puts the club in a position in case we make an adjustment in our roster," Showalter said. "It's a little short notice to get somebody here if he started [the suspension] tonight. I think that's his biggest concern, trying to see if he can help us lessen the blow on the impact on the roster."
The All-Star third baseman, who apologized for his actions on Monday, was also fined. Abad was not suspended, but he was also fined.
"I don't really care," Machado said of the different punishments. "He's part of the Oakland A's organization, and I'm a Baltimore Oriole. I know what I did and he knows what he did. We both got to pay for the consequences.
"Obviously, I talked to everybody -- the team, the organization, myself. I'm just going to see where it goes."
Showalter said the appeal process may not happen for a week, and in a perfect world, the club would like for Machado to miss the Rays series that starts on Monday, with Thursday an off-day. While the off-day would not count against the suspension, it could help the Orioles perhaps go short in the bullpen and add another position player in Machado's absence.
"He's a 21-year-old young man that made a mistake, and he's done the right thing since then to move forward with it the way it's supposed to be done when you make a mistake, like we all have," Showalter said. "Now there's some more steps involved before we can put it behind us."
It wasn't just the bat throwing that put Machado in hot water. Things started on Friday when Machado took exception to a hard tag by third baseman Josh Donaldson. He also hit A's catcher Derek Norris several times in the helmet on a backswing and didn't show any regret or offer to apologize, with several Oakland players believing that Machado actually took pleasure in it. Machado, who said the backswings were unintentional, was remorseful on Monday after watching the replays and thinking things over.
"It's not easy, if that's what you want to hear," Machado said. "It's been a frustrating last couple days. It's all part of the game."
Still, Machado's reputation has clearly taken a hit, as Donaldson made no bones about not accepting Machado's apology. Meanwhile, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told Sports Illustrated on Monday that sending the third baseman to the Minors is always an option.
Showalter said Tuesday that a demotion isn't an option right now -- though he didn't completely rule it out -- and he was concentrated on getting Machado on the right track.
Machado apologized to his teammates before Monday's game, with the team late in taking batting practice as several players aired their thoughts.
"It is what it is," Showalter said of the punishment. "Nobody can judge intent. We all know what was going on with Abad. How they chose to do it, they have precedent. That's why, when I talk about the [five-game suspension], there is no precedent. So you think it would be reduced, but maybe not."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.