The Padres’ victory over the Cardinals on Sunday included a strange game. It was not a completely unusual game. But it was one you can not see every game.
Manny Machado was involved, and when Manny Machado is involved, it does not take long before something that may seem unorthodox must be interpreted as – here it goes – “dirty”.
The piece, which (for better or worse) became a popular topic on Twitter, took place in the fourth inning. Jake Cronenworth hit a grounder for St. Louis second baseman and San Diego native Tommy Edman. Machado slipped into Edman’s legs, as is often seen when an infielder tries to flip a double play. In this case, it happened in the middle of the base path.
Machado immediately called on time and checked on Edman. Both were fine, and the sun rose again Monday morning (although it̵
It all could have ended right there. Men Twitter.
There were no doubt some fans and supporters of the game who took exception to Machado’s slide. That was enough for the very popular Jomboy Media account (among others) to ask the question of whether the slide was dirty.
It helped reinforce the discussion. But as far as “controversies” are concerned, this one lacks the polarizing, house-sharing qualities of such classics as “What color is this dress?” and “What direction is the man facing the swing?”
For the most part, the sensible corners of the discussion consist of some people asking if the slide was dirty, pro-ball players saying “nah” and baseball experts adding “I can not believe people think it’s dirty.”
Take Baseball America National Writer and friend of On Friar Podcast Kyle Glaser, for example:
Dennis Lin, who covers Padres for The Athletic, provided some important connections.
Morse High alum and Machado’s former Orioles teammate Adam Jones weighed in and called it a smart game and completely legal.
The former Padre and longtime pro baseball player Cody Decker agree.
Decker’s tweet made room for perhaps the best exchange of all on the subject, as one fan claimed that no coach would advise a player to slip against an opponent in the middle of the base path.
Luckily for all of us, Padre’s Associate Manager Skip Schumaker discovered the tweet and responded in the best possible way.
Monday afternoon, before their series opener against the Rockies, Padres manager Jayce Tingler gave a passionate defense of the play and the player. The second-year manager said he was very excited about Machado for his efforts to break the double game. Machado’s team ended up scoring four runs in the frame that ended up being a 5-3 win. Cronenwroth, who would have been thrown out by Edman if not for Machado’s slip, was the first of the four Padres to touch home.
Tingler also hailed Machado’s hardship and leadership, saying Machado is playing the game the right way and that the story surrounding Padre’s star is ‘tired’.
Machado had some dustups ahead of his time with the Padres who have followed him for years. As a result, there is a segment of the baseball population that is ready to jump when a game like Sunday occurs.
In these cases, it is best to take your cues from guys who played the game or devoted their adult lives to covering it. This time, the consensus is pretty clear: Machado made a baseball game.
As for any discussion beyond that, Decker said it best: This is a waste of time.
LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego’s Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the microphone, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes … ups and downs and everything in between. Click here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts.