Manny Machado becomes 1st MLB player ejected over pitch-clock argument

San Diego Padres star Manny Machado already had a spot in MLB pitch-clock history as the first player ever penalized for a violation. He added to that legacy Tuesday.

In the first inning of the Padres' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Machado was issued a third strike for a pitch-clock violation and then ejected for arguing his case with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa. The ejection appears to be the first time a player has been ejected in a regular-season game for arguing over the pitch clock.

MLB rules require a batter to be in the box and "alert" with eight seconds remaining on the clock. A subsequent replay showed Machado adjusting his batting gloves with his bat under his arm when Kulpa issued the strike with two outs and a full count.

It appeared, however, that Machado might have been trying to call time.

Machado, playing as the Padres' designated hitter Tuesday, was replaced by Nelson Cruz in the lineup. Three innings later, Cruz put the Padres up 1-0 with a solo homer in the fourth.

It probably shouldn't be a surprise that Machado had a secone run-in with the pitch clock. After becoming the first player docked for a violation in spring training, he said he could envision a lot of ump-issued strikes for himself during the season:

"I'm going to have to make a big adjustment. I might be 0-1 down a lot this year," he said. "It's super fast. There's definitely going to be an adjustment period, but going down in the history books."

Machado, who signed an 11-year, $350 million extension before the season, entered Tuesday hitting 5-for-19 with one walk and no extra-base hits.

San Diego Padres' Manny Machado reacts alongside first base umpire Cory Blaser after being called out on an automatic strike during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Manny Machado wasn't kidding about needing time to adjust to the pitch clock. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The adjustment to the pitch clock has been a somewhat frequent issue early in the season, with 14 violations on Opening Day and, of course, some even weirder issues for the Mets. That is likely a price MLB is always willing to pay if it means a 26-minute reduction in game length.