The phrase “Manny Being Manny” was originally coined in relations to the relatively harmless hijinks of erstwhile outfielder Manny Ramirez. He may have had a proclivity for the bizarre, such as taking a bathroom break inside the Green Monster or cutting off Johnny Damon‘s throw from the outfield, but Ramirez was mainly harmless. Unless, of course, you happened to be a traveling secretary with the Boston Red Sox. In that case, all bets were off.
Now, there is a new sheriff in town when it comes to “Manny Being Manny”. However, unlike his namesake, Manny Machado has not had the good natured fun that comes with that phrase. In fact, at least when it comes to playing the Oakland A’s, Manny Being Manny is more of a warning than a promise of amusement.
The original troubles began on Friday, when Machado took exception to what he felt was a particularly hard tag from A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson. That play turned into an argument where Machado and Donaldson needed to be separated as the benches cleared, resulting in Donaldson getting hit with a pitch later that game. The bad blood between Machado and the A’s escalated even further yesterday in the eight inning of the Baltimore Orioles 11-1 loss. This time, after Fernando Abad threw inside for a second time in the at bat, nearly clipping Machado in the knee, the Orioles third baseman threw his bat, sending it down the third base line where it came close to Alberto Callaspo. Needless to say, the benches emptied once again, and both Abad and Machado were ejected.
Manny Machado is one of the bright young stars that baseball has to offer. Coming back from a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee, Machado has not been the same player that he was last year when he led the American League in doubles and won a Gold Glove award. However, the 21 year old Machado looks as though he has been getting back into form, raising his batting average by 62 points over the last 21 games, and posting a .280/.326/.427 batting line during that time.
These outbursts of anger or frustration, or whatever it is that Machado wants to call them, are problematic. Machado may be on the verge of gaining a reputation as a hothead, someone that can be easily riled by a pitch inside or a hard play, if he has not already earned such notoriety. If nothing else, Machado is likely a marked man when next the Orioles and A’s face off in Oakland in the first series after the All-Star Break. Throwing that bat could earn Machado a fastball right between the numbers when he steps up to bat.
“Manny Being Manny,” in it’s original incarnation, was about the former Red Sox outfielder living in his own unique world. Now, for Manny Machado, that phrase could be linked to angry, emotional outbursts. Hopefully, Machado just had a bad weekend and can put this behind him.