Red Sox upset after Manny Machado slide shakes up Dustin Pedroia

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Big League Stew

The Boston Red Sox had a frustrating night at Camden Yards on Friday, losing 2-0 to the Orioles. But it wasn’t just the loss or the lack of offense fueling their dismay.

Things got a little heated in the eighth inning when Orioles third baseman Manny Machado appeared to slide late into second base to break up a double play. The slide did its intended job, but the momentum also caused Machado’s foot to skip over the base and his spike to catch the back of Dustin Pedroia’s right calf.

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Fortunately, Pedroia appears to have avoided a serious injury. But that didn’t make manager John Farrell, third base coach Brian Butterfield or several Red Sox players feel any better during or after the game.

The Red Sox were feeling a lot of emotions about the play, and it didn’t help that the umpires decided not to enforce the “Chase Utley rule” designed to protect infielders from late and aggressive slides. Even after review, the umpires stuck to their decision, which led to Butterfield being ejected the next half-inning when he confronted the umpires.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia struggles to stand after a late slide from Baltimore’s Manny Machado. (AP)
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia struggles to stand after a late slide from Baltimore’s Manny Machado. (AP)

Pedroia shared in the confusion, but also seemed to dismiss the rule when pressed after the game.

“I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years,” said Pedroia. “I don’t need the [expletive] rule, let’s be honest. The rule is irrelevant. The rule is for people with bad footwork, and that’s it.”

As many predicted, the rule has created a lot of confusion. But it’s also seemed to limit the number of questionable slides.

This one though seemed to surpass questionable. While it’s unlikely there was any malicious intent on Machado’s part, the slide appears late and he certainly went past the base with a high leg. It fits what should have been ruled a violation, and the fact that Pedroia was forced to leave the game has put it in even sharper focus for Boston.

The Red Sox and Orioles have had their share of run-ins over the years. That’s not a big surprise given the natural rivalry that’s born from playing in the same division. But it’s possible there will be a little extra fire headed into Saturday’s matchup.

Machado, specifically, is no stranger to controversy. He was suspended five games back in 2014 for throwing his bat toward third base after being brushed back by then-A’s reliever Fernando Abad. Last season, he was given a four-game suspension for charging the mound against late Royals ace Yordano Ventura.

Machado’s history may cause this to get a longer look from the league. The fallout on Saturday could also play a role in how this is viewed. All we know for sure is that an already interesting division series just got a lot more interesting with two games left this weekend.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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