Manny Machado was involved, and when Manny Machado is involved, it doesn’t take long for something that may seem unorthodox to be interpreted as – here goes – “dirty.”
The play that (for better or worse) became a trending topic on Twitter occurred in the fourth round. Jake Cronenworth hit a grounder against St. Louis second baseman and San Diego native Tommy Edman. Machado slipped through Edman’s legs, as is often seen when an infielder attempts to make a double play. In this case, it happened midway through the base path.
Machado immediately asked for time and checked Edman. Both were fine and the sun rose again on Monday morning (although it’s a bit dark here in San Diego which is a total drag).
It could all have ended there. But, Twitter.
There was no doubt that some fans and followers of the game objected to Machado’s slide. That was enough for the hugely popular Jomboy Media account (among others) to question whether the slide was dirty.This helped amplify the discussion. But when it comes to “controversies,” this one lacks the polarizing and divisive qualities of classic houses such as “What color is this dress?” and “Which way is the man on the swing facing?” “
For the most part, the reasonable corners of the discussion consist of some people asking if the slide was dirty, professional ball players saying ‘no’ and baseball pundits adding, ‘Can’t believe people think it is. dirty. “
Take, for example, Baseball America’s national editor and On Friar podcast friend Kyle Glaser:
Dennis Lin, who covers the Padres for The Athletic, provided important context.
Adam Jones, former Morse High teammate and former Machado Orioles teammate, called it a smart and perfectly legal game.
Former Padre and longtime professional baseball player Cody Decker agrees.
Decker’s tweet gave way to perhaps the best exchange of all on the subject, when a fan claimed that no coach would advise a player to slide over an opponent in the middle of the base path.
Lucky for all of us, Padres associate director Skip Schumaker discovered the tweet and responded in the best possible way.
On Monday afternoon, before the opening of their series against the Rockies, Padres coach Jayce Tingler passionately defended the game and the player. The second-year manager said he bred Machado for his efforts to break the double play. Machado’s side ended up scoring four points this frame in what ended up being a 5-3 win. Cronenwroth, who would have been kicked out by Edman had it not been for Machado’s slip, was the first of the four Padres to return home.
Tingler also praised Machado’s restlessness and leadership, saying Machado is playing the game the right way and the narrative around the Padres star is “tired”.
Machado had some dusting before his stint with the Padres who followed him in the years that followed. As a result, there is a segment of the baseball population that is ready to pounce whenever a game like Sunday’s occurs.
In these cases, it’s best to take inspiration from guys who have played the game or have dedicated their adult lives to covering it up. This time around, the consensus is pretty clear: Machado played baseball.
As for any discussion beyond that, Decker put it better: It’s a waste of time.
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