Matt Barnes Gets A 4 Game Suspension For Throwing Behind Manny Machado’s Head

by Jake Archer | Posted on Monday, April 24th, 2017
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News just broke that Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Matt Barnes was hit with a 4-game suspension for throwing up around the head of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. The pitch was in retaliation for Machado’s slide that hurt Dustin Pedroia on Friday night.

I’m obviously a Red Sox fan, but the Sox looked stupid yesterday. Going at a guy’s head is completely over the line and that isn’t debatable. Seeing someone take a fastball in the dome is not fun or pretty at all. It’s one of those things that makes you audibly go “Ohhhhhhhh” and cringe no matter who the player is. I personally don’t like Manny Machado and I think he’s a dirty player but I don’t really want to see him get drilled in the face.

So honestly, Barnes deserves the suspension because that pitch didn’t “slip.” I know he has to say that, but the catcher was set up outside and there is just zero chance that wasn’t intentional. The guy I really blame here though, is John Farrell. Farrell continues to be inept at just about everything, as now he can’t even handle a simple retaliation correctly.

I’m all for a guy taking a pitch in the ribs if he goes spikes up on your second baseman or pulls some other bush league crap like Machado tends to do. But, the ball has to stay down below the armpit and the move to hit him should really come the next day. I know why the Sox didn’t let Steven Wright hit Machado and that’s because he’s a knuckleballer whose fastball tops out at 87 mph. You want to get your money’s worth and at least make him feel it with mid-90s heat. But a reliever should have done it on Saturday and just gotten it over with.

The last thing I’ll say about why the Sox handled this the wrong way is that they should have consulted with Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia is the one who got hurt and he’s the leader of this clubhouse yet he didn’t even want this done. If that’s the case, then Farrell and the coaching staff need to back off and not put out orders to do it because now you’re just starting something for no reason.

In the end, no one really came out looking great here this weekend except Dustin Pedroia. The Red Sox looked bad, Matt Barnes looked bad, Manny Machado looked bad, and the Orioles looked bad. I love a great rivalry and I love some on-field antics, but it has to be handled the right way.

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Jake Archer
About the Author

Jake is a sports blogger with a passion for baseball and the Red Sox. He loves pitcher's duels, ballpark food and listening to games on the radio. He's got some strong opinions on things like pace-of-play, the DH rule and more. Follow him on Twitter at @jarcher04.







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