Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado suspended for five games


While an official announcement has not yet been made by the Baltimore Orioles, Major League Baseball has handed down it’s discipline to Manny Machado (and Fernando Abad – who I’ll get to in a moment) in the wake of Sunday’s “incident.” Machado has received a five-game suspension (and a fine). On the other hand, Fernando Abad, the pitcher that threw at Machado, received only a fine for his part in what happened.

Fans on both sides can debate the justice in that all they want, however I’m sure the league won’t tack anything onto Abad’s penalty.

Machado is planning on appealing the suspension, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if Abad appeals his fine as well. However my recommendation to Machado would be not to appeal and just start serving the suspension. While you hate to say this game is more important to that game and so forth, I would submit that the games against Toronto this weekend are very slightly more important than the ones against Boston right now – simply because the Orioles are chasing Toronto for the time being.

So if Machado just took his suspension today, he’d be out for the remainder of the Boston series and the first three games of the Toronto series. If he appeals, odds are he’d be out for the entire Toronto series. That may be splitting hairs, however it’s worth considering. It’s unclear how long MLB will take to consider his appeal, however Machado will of course be granted the right to play during the appeal process, so I would expect him to be in the lineup tonight.

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Manny Machado

  • SonsofLombardi

    As a follow-up to our previous conversation the other day, the MLB press release regarding this (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140610&content_id=79092250&vkey=pr_mlb&c_id=mlb) explicitly states that Machado was suspended for “intentionally throwing his bat on the field”. So, yes, MLB admits that they evaluate perceived intent when ruling on potential disciplinary cases. Additionally, Article XII (A) & (C) of the current MLBPA collective bargaining agreement gives MLB the power to do so. Thus, your insistence in your previous post that since Machado threw a bat it was merely an equipment violation and only subject to a fine was misguided. From a legal standpoint, Machado does not have a leg to stand on appeal-wise because MLB is acting within the guidelines that the players association contracted to. He could make the argument that the suspension’s length was overly harsh in relation to comparable past incidents (if he can find one) but not that MLB is acting outside of its authority. I personally hope he accepts the suspension, does his time, and comes back with a renewed attitude. His apology before last night’s game was a good first step, and I am hopeful that the veteran influences in the clubhouse will continue to guide him in the right direction.

    • Domenic Vadala

      I’m sorry, but my point was that there was a rule stating that throwing equipment was a fine – NOT that he should or shouldn’t be suspended. I was merely stating that he cod use that as a loop hole in the rules, combined with the fact that nobody knows the intent but him. And he may well use that in the appeal for all I know. Heck, I would – fact is they can’t up the suspension.

      • SonsofLombardi

        Correct, and what I’m saying is that your entire assertion that there is a loophole is faulty because this isn’t viewed as simply a “throwing equipment” issue. Again, intent IS something that MLB can factor into, which makes this something more than simply throwing a bat– it’s throwing a bat with the intent to put it into the field of play and possibly harm someone. MLB can make that assessment of intent themselves; they don’t need Machado to admit his guilt. (Although I would assert his pre-game interview last night was a very Giambi-like admission of guilt.) That’s why it is subject to more than a fine. If Manny struck out and threw his bat onto the on-deck circle that’s fine-worthy, but that is not what he did. His actions Sunday qualify for disciplinary action under the “just cause” provision in the CBA, of which there are no “loopholes”. Trust me, if there was an actual loophole Manny’s legal counsel would be jumping all over it and that’s all we would be hearing about in the media. There is no loophole.
        Buck already said that Machado’s appeal had more to do with him being able to play tonight because they couldn’t get a replacement to Baltimore in time. It might be reduced by a game or two but I highly doubt it will be completely resolved. I think Machado and the Orioles already anticipate that he will be out for five games. (Duquette is even talking about the option of sending him to AAA, although I doubt it will happen.)

        • Domenic Vadala

          I can guarantee you that Machado isn’t going to the minors. GUARANTEED – put it in caps. The loop hole is there, but so is the just cause part. The league pretty much has license to do what it wishes “for the good of the game.” But te fact is that nobody can truly judge intent – not you, nor I, and not MLB. By only fining Abad they’re basically saying that there was no intent to hit Machado – even after the umpire said that’s why he tossed him. That aside, I suspect they were shooting for a four-game ban all along. They know he’ll appeal so they started out with five games.

          • SonsofLombardi

            You’re not very good at admitting when you’re wrong, are you? :)
            The loophole & just cause pieces are mutually exclusive– if it is simply an equipment throwing issue there is a fine and no need for the suspension via a “just cause” ruling. In Manny’s situation it goes beyond simply throwing an equipment and is thus held to a higher sanctioning standard, which then involves the “just cause” statute and takes disciplinary action above the fining capacity. If there is a legitimate loophole I suspect that Manny will fully exploit it to his advantage. If he doesn’t it most likely doesn’t exist.
            If you are arguing that MLB cannot mind-read Manny and know with 100% truth what his intent was, you are correct. If you are arguing that MLB does not have the ability to take a preponderance of the evidence and evaluate Manny’s intent (and carrying out subsequent disciplinary action), you are wrong. They have that authority and are not held the to legal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
            I’m going to sign off on this post, as I have a feeling that this conversation will continue to cycle without much resolution. I enjoy reading your blog and some of the insights you share. I just happen to strongly disagree with your interpretation in this circumstance based on the available evidence. :)
            Let’s Go O’s!

          • Domenic Vadala

            Here’s the thing – I’m not wrong. There are two rules at play here. If MLB wants to, they have license to suspend someone for any reason they want for the most part if they invoke the “for the good of the game” deal. Heck if a player got a got a speeding ticket and took an attitude with the cop (and it somehow leaked out) they could suspend for that if they wanted. I’m not saying that Machado is going to invoke that equipment violation thing – odds are he won’t. I suspect he’s probably just appealing as a formality based on the fact that the union wants all suspensions appealed. However if he wanted to use that he could. Whether they would buy it or not is another story, but it’s there.

          • SonsofLombardi

            Dude, you are wrong. Even if we go with your logic that two rules are at play (and thus two rules are being violated) your assertion still doesn’t hold up. By your own admission the “good of the game”/”just cause” overrides the equipment violation. They are two separate rules– the appeal of one doesn’t necessitate that the other is overrode. That would be like getting a speeding ticket and getting a charge for marijuana possession. You are not going to get off of the drug possession charge because you insist the cop’s radar gun wasn’t properly calibrated. Your argument is logically & internally inconsistent.

            Any you are right, Machado COULD use this alleged “loophole” but that doesn’t mean it has any validity to it, just like you can file a lawsuit for any reason but it will never get heard in a court of law if it doesn’t have any merit. You can use any excuse to appeal a sanction, but that doesn’t mean that it is rational/logical/etc.

            Denial is not just a river in Egypt, man. :)

          • Domenic Vadala

            If you get pulled over for speeding that doesn’t give the cop probable cause to search your car. If it’s in plain sight that’s one thing. But if not then actually they would have to find you innocent – illegal search and seizure.

            What does he really have to lose in that argument? Sure it might make his apology seem insincere, but who really cares? As I said, they can’t add to the suspension – unless you want to argue that they could by invoking the “for the good of the game” clause if they feel he’s throwing it in their face.

          • SonsofLombardi

            Aside from looking like an idiot because he is arguing for a “loophole” that is non-existent, you’re right, Machado has nothing to lose by appealing in such a manner.

          • Domenic Vadala

            Always fight ’till the end, especially when you have nothing to lose.

          • SonsofLombardi

            Lol- I can see that.

          • Domenic Vadala

            Good I’m glad.

          • JoePapey

            Hey Domenic. as a person with a bit of a temper (as you admitted to be in previous comments) how many “figurative” bats did you fling at people on your rise to such a lofty perch as the senior editor of Birdswatcher? Or did you achieve that title by the willingness to soil your proboscis? Just wondering…

          • Domenic Vadala

            Yeah that’s how I got here – you hit the nail right on the head. Lord knows where I buried the bodies.