Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said the pitch reliever Matt Barnes screamed behind the head of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado yesterday was one that “got away from” his pitcher. Farrell insisted it was not retaliation for Machado sliding into Dustin Pedroia earlier in the series, a slide that sidelined his second baseman for the next two games.
Yahoo MLB Columnist Jeff Passan joined The Jim Rome Show on Monday and called the Red Sox skipper’s comments out.
“The fact that John Farrell would spit that weak garbage is frankly beneath him, and I’m surprised he even tried to do that,” Passan said. “That makes me wonder where exactly did this come from, because Dustin Pedroia was inside of the Red Sox dugout talking with Manny Machado after the incident saying it wasn’t me. He was pulling like a Shaggy in the situation, no, no, no it wasn’t me. And he was apologizing for it.
“So either, Matt Barnes made this decision on his own, trying to stick up for Dustin Pedroia, the longest tenured Red Sox player by a half-decade, a guy who is really well respected inside that clubhouse, or he was told by somebody above him whether it is a manager, a pitching coach, somebody in the front office whoever it may be, we need to retaliate here.”
Passan said pitchers throwing at other players’ heads is out of control.
“There is a huge problem in Major League Baseball when this is the norm,” Passan said. “Manny Machado is one of the ten best players in baseball, you can argue he’s one of the five best. The idea that you’re running the risk of losing him long term, permanently even, if you hit him in the wrong spot in the head all because he may have accidently spiked Dustin Pedroia and put him out for a few days, seems like the most ridiculous over-reaction possible.
“And I understand there are people out there saying let the players police the game. I’m sorry, you don’t need to be policing un-written rules when those un-written rules don’t need to be there in the first place. All of this stems from the machismo in baseball and the idea that the sport needs to be run a certain way. It’s stupid, its antiquated, it needs to go. Matt Barnes needs to be suspended for 20 games so that Major League Baseball and the Players Association can say were not going to deal with this garbage anymore.”
Passan said the players need to strengthen the punishment for pitchers throwing at their union partners heads.
“The longest suspension you can find, you have to go back more than a decade, is 10 games and generally it’s in the 3 to 6 game range. And when we’re talking about this, suspensions are based on precedence in Major League Baseball so the idea of jumping from anywhere from 3 to 6 to 20 probably is not going to happen,” Passan said. “But If I’m the Major League Baseball Players’ Association I need to take a long look at this and say, if somebody in my union is putting somebody else in my union potentially at risk, it doesn’t matter to me that Manny Machado wasn’t hit with the ball, it was the intent. And it was the fact that it was as close as it was.”
Passan noted that we’ve all seen how ugly it is when someone gets hit in the head and warned it could get even worse.
“You saw what happened when Giancarlo Stanton got hit in the jaw. It shattered teeth, blood, gore, it was awful, and nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to see that, and that was an accident by Mike Fiers,” Passan said. “The idea that it could be theoretically be intentional, there have been people out there who have argued it’s assault, and while I’m not going to go that far, you are holding a weapon, a five ounce weapon in your hand and whipping it at somebody at 90 plus miles per hour. You damn well better be somebody who is being conscious in that situation and thinking of others and not trying to harm because the damage you can do is erectable.”
The 2017 Smack-Off invitee also shared his strong feelings towards using ketchup on food, particularly those who use it on hot dogs.
“You know who eats ketchup on hot dogs? Children. If you’re an adult and eating ketchup on a hot dog, you belong in pre-school, you belong in elementary school, you sit there watching Pokémon every day, and you’re an embarrassment to society,” Passan said. “Hot Dogs are meant to be covered by mustard, because mustard is an adult condiment. If you want to cover it with grilled onions, that’s perfectly fine. If you want to wrap it in bacon, I’m down with that. If you eat ketchup on a hot dog you need to send yourself to rehabilitation and learn that food is meant to be consumed with the right things and ketchup is not one of them. Ketchup is ok with French fries, ketchup is even ok on a hamburger, ketchup on anything else is an abomination.”