Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and the Oakland Athletics haven't been getting along.
After dodging a pitch thrown inside by A's reliever Fernando Abad in the eighth inning on Sunday, the 21-year-old let go of his bat on a swing and miss and appeared to toss it all the way down the third baseline. The bat landed in the outfield as Machado and the A's started jawing at each other. Both benches quickly spilled out onto the field, but no punches were thrown. The umpires deliberated and decided to eject both Machado and Abad.
Following Oakland's blowout win, Machado insisted that it was an accident and the bat "slipped right out" of his hands, the Baltimore Sun reported. Crew chief Larry Vanover thought otherwise and explained after the game that both Abad's inside pitch and Machado's bat throw were intentional. Even Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne thought Machado meant to throw his bat but wanted to toss it toward the mound.
"That was worst temper tantrum I've probably ever seen on a baseball field," A's pitcher Scott Kazmir told the San Jose Mercury News.
It was the second bench-clearing altercation Machado incited in three games against Oakland over the weekend. On Friday, Machado didn't appreciate a tag that was applied by A's third baseman Josh Donaldson. Machado, who had lost his balance and fell over, immediately got to his feet and into Donaldson's face causing both dugouts to empty.
Machado's bat-throw wasn't the only thing he did that rubbed the Athletics the wrong way. Two innings earlier, Machado's backswing hit A's catcher Derek Norris in the mask for the second timeon Sunday. Norris, who had to be taken out of the game, told reporters Machado might have smiled after the second incident.
"Most guys ask if you're alright, but if anything I might have caught him smiling one time, which is bizarre," Norris said, via Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun.
Norris also added some strong words for Machado.
"What he's doing, I think it's a disgrace to baseball," per Jane Lee of MLB.com.
UPDATE: Machado, who apologized on Monday, was suspended by MLB for five games and fined. Abad was fined but not suspended.
Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reported that Machado will appeal the suspension.