Tonight Manny Machado will deservingly wear one in the ribs. Especially with newly acquired Jeff Samardzija trying to fit into a new club house being on the mound in the first game of the series. As most of you know earlier in the season Machado hit A’s catcher Derek Norris in the head twice as he finished his swings without even as much as an “I’m sorry.” Then after being barked at by A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson Machado then threw the bat at Donaldson as he swung the bat after the ball was already in the catcher’s mitt. Machado insisted he did not intentionally throw the bat, but it certainly looked as if he did. He has since served a five game suspension that he fought but was upheld by major league baseball.
Tonight is the first time the two teams will face each other since the dugout clearing incident, and it is in Oakland where the fans will expect something to happen. But, these are two first place teams and having players from these teams getting suspensions of any kind could prove costly to both or either clubs. So, will the managers of the clubs or the front offices of the clubs squash any plans the players might have of retribution? One last note that may come into play. The A’s made a big move in the off-season and signed former Oriole closer Jim Johnson. He has not performed near as they hoped he would when they signed him to a $10 million one year contract. He could quickly become a fan favorite and could also earn some respect points with other players in the clubhouse if he had a chance to hit Machado sometime in the series.