Dustin Pedroia is not in the starting lineup for tonight's game against Baltimore after being injured by Manny Machado's controversial slide Friday night, but he refused to pass judgment on the Orioles star.
When asked Saturday if he thought Machado's hard slide past second base violated MLB's slide rule, Pedroia had a tactful response.
“I’m not the baseball police, man,” Pedroia told reporters . “I got three kids. I don’t have time for that.”
While Pedroia didn't take a stand, Boston manager John Farrell had no problem coming to his defense. Angry Friday night that umpires didn't rule Machado's slide illegal, Farrell said Saturday he had talked to the league.
“There was some conversation with the league today,"he said. "Clearly, there’s a difference in opinion in how that rule was interpreted and certainly the slide. Bottom line is this: If that slide last night is not deemed an illegal slide, we should just get rid of the rule.
"As I said after the game last night, there’s got to be deliberate attempt to turn a double play. I don’t know how you can when you’ve got someone laying on your left leg on the left-field side of second base. Still, that was an extremely late slide, and, in my view, an illegal slide.”
Pedroia left the game after Machado’s spikes hit him in the back of his left knee as he attempted to turn a double play in the eighth inning of Baltimore’s 2-0 win.
Pedroia said that Machado texted him after the game to apologize.
“Yeah, he texted me. He just said he hopes I’m OK. I just said ‘Thanks for reaching out,’” Pedroia said. “I don’t have an issue with anything. My job’s to play baseball and win. This isn’t seventh grade, man. You know what I mean? I just play baseball. That’s it. I care about our guys. I don’t care about anybody else. So, we just play the game.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter naturally had a different interpretation of the slide.
“I look at things through Oriole glasses, orange and black, they look at it through (Red Sox glasses)," Showalter said, via BaltimoreBaseball.com. "I understand their feelings, but I do understand ours. I didn’t realize for sure until afterwards that Manny was safe at second and then was out when he tried to keep Pedroia from (falling). He knew he had made contact with him. I was talking to him some after the game about what he saw. What do you do?”
Showalter was not pleased with speculation in the media that the Red Sox would retaliate for the incident in Saturday night's game.
“I’m not real impressed with some people in the media calling for somebody to be thrown at," Showalter said. "I don’t think that really fits their job description. That’s their choice, how they choose to do their job. It’s the world we live in.
“I’ve said many times with people talking about throwing stuff, how are you gonna feel when you’re standing at home plate and some guy has got hit in the head and there’s blood coming out of his ears? Do you really feel that manly making that decision? Is that really, really smart? I try to step back sometimes and I’m not always good at it.”