Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado sure seemed to take his time circling the bases after his three-run homer against the Boston Red Sox.
Manny Machado has become public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Boston Red Sox fans.
If it wasn’t his questionable slide that spiked Dustin Pedroia or his profanity laced tirade complaining about almost being hit by a pitch, now Red Sox fans have Machado’s home run trot to be steamed about.
The Baltimore Orioles third baseman blasted a three-run shot off of Kyle Kendrick in the fourth inning to break a 3-3 tie, drawing boos from the Fenway crowd. It wasn’t just about the O’s taking the lead or the fact that it was Machado’s third homer in a series where he abused Red Sox pitching. What drew the ire of the crowd was that Machado seemed to take his sweet time jogging around the bases.
Here’s video of Machado’s home run trot, which was clocked at 28 seconds.
Was he trying to send Boston a message by showing up the pitcher in retaliation for being thrown at by other Red Sox pitchers? Not according to Machado.
"“Go look at my home runs,” Machado said, per ESPN. “I’m not a rookie. I have 100-plus home runs in the show. I do the same trot every time. Wherever it is, I do the same thing every time.”"
So, just to be clear, Machado’s leisurely stroll around the bases shouldn’t be called into question because he does it all the time?
Maybe not every time, although it certainly wasn’t the first time in this series that Machado was called out for taking his time rounding the bases. His home run trot in Monday night’s game was clocked by StatCast at 29.2 seconds, which is longer than it took him to reach home plate following Thursday’s blast and considerably slow even by his standards.
The issue is only being blown out of proportion due to the series of events that created bad blood between the two division rivals this season. Machado is the one that started it all with his dangerous slide and he doesn’t seem to be eager to end it.
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Showboating after a home run is the type of action that may tempt pitchers to bean a hitter the next time he steps to the plate, so if that’s how the Red Sox are interpreting Machado’s slow trot then he’s only throwing fuel onto a fire that has already raged out of control.
Boston’s pitching staff would be wise to avoid retaliation after Major League Baseball felt compelled to step in and warn both teams, but trying to bait them into it by breaking another one of baseball’s unwritten rules is bad form by Machado.
Machado has made himself into a villain in Boston, a role he seems to be embracing rather than attempting to extinguish this feud before it gets any further out of hand. There’s plenty of blame to go around on both sides, but Machado certainly isn’t helping with his actions.