The benches cleared today in Baltimore, and former Astro Fernando Abad was one of two players ejected from the game between the A’s and Orioles.
The bad blood between the two teams started on Friday when Machado took exception to a tag applied to him by Josh Donaldson. On that play Machado fell to the ground, threw his helmet down, and got in the face of Donaldson. Later in that game Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen threw at Donaldson and hit him in the shoulder area. I thought it was an obvious cheap-shot, but no action was taken by the umpires.
Earlier in today’s game Machado hit Oakland catcher Derek Norris with the bat on his follow-through and appeared to be smiling about it. So, given the circumstances, who could blame Abad for retaliation?
I’ve had plenty of harsh words for Abad due to his overall lack of effectiveness while in an Astros uniform. But I am happy to see him having some success now — especially after today. I don’t want to condone violence on the baseball field… but. What Machado and Chen did was wrong. And the umpires were wrong to let it happen. Abad simply stood up for his teammates — and by doing so earned their respect.
Abad and Machado were both ejected. I believe Machado should be fined, but I will be surprised if that happens. MLB has a reputation of being lenient on star players.