As a massive Red Sox fan, I am pretty thrilled about this season, having won the World Series and all. I have loved the Red Sox since 2008 and my favorite player of all time, Dustin Pedroia, has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
After ten years and five shirts with Pedroia’s name on the back, I watched the Red Sox reach the top of the baseball mountain but without the thrill of watching my hero have another big moment. There is only one man to blame for this: Manny Machado.
In the offseason between the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Dustin Pedroia had his knee surgically repaired and missed the beginning of the 2017 campaign. But the rest of his season, and possibly career was derailed after Manny Machado slid into second base and cleated Pedroia in the knee in late July 2017.
I will give Machado his due; He is a great player and has been recognized by many as one of the best defensive players in Major League Baseball. However, he is one of the most despicable players I have ever had the displeasure of watching.
Machado is infamous for his attitude problems and cockiness. But again, you can find people like that anywhere in sports and they still do just fine. Some of the most famous athletes of all-time had issues with their attitudes, like Michael Jordan and Alex Rodriguez. Machado is not on that level, but I digress.
The worst part about Machado is his recklessness, or rather his blatant effort to hurt other players. During this year’s postseason series, he clipped the heels of two first basemen while running through first base in an attempt to force them out of the game due to injury.
Some have called these incidents accidents, but if you have ever played a baseball game, or even watched one, you would know how careful players are about making sure they do not hurt each other in baserunning situations.
Machado’s antics do not stop there. In July 2014, Machado threw his bat during a swing at Oakland Athletics pitcher Fernando Abad after having problems with the As all season. During this time, he also continuously hit A’s catcher Derrick Norris in the head with his backswing and showed no remorse during the process.
These actions would make any reasonable person question the morals of anybody, regardless of fame or money or status, but Machado has far surpassed the point of “questionable.”
My biggest problem with not only the Pedroia incident but the countless other incidents is the lack of penalties that he has been handed to Machado. Of course, he was handed a suspension for the bat throwing incident, but he has only been hit with a suspension one other time, despite all the times he has attempted or succeeded in injuring another player.
Major League Baseball has done nothing to even try to stop these stupid and dangerous acts. The things Machado does can seriously mess up a player’s career. If he were to accidentally clip a first baseman’s heel too hard, or slide in too late and take out a player’s knee, that could call for surgery that could put them out of action for years. Just ask Dustin Pedroia.