Spikes and Controversy Slide Into Pedrioa

Fans have seen little else beyond spikes and controversy slide into Red Sox news lately. It started Friday night in Baltimore. The O’s third baseman Manny Machado slid into second as Dustin Pedrioa attempted a double play. Machado slid and spiked Pedroia. It looked  unintentional. But Pedrioa’s teammates and fans alike believe that Machado did it on purpose.

Personally, I don’t agree.Controversy Slide

Pedrioa told the press after the game that he didn’t think Machado intentionally spiked him. Pedrioa is a tough player whose been around for years and knows the difference between an accident and a dirty play. In fact, from the stands it looked like an accident.

I was attending the game in Baltimore with my friend Taylor that night. We were sitting behind the visiting dugout. At first, it didn’t look like Pedrioa was hurt that badly. I didn’t see any animosity between Machado and Pedrioa following the slide. In fact, as Machado slid into second he wrapped his arms around Pedrioa in an effort to cushion the impact. To see this kind of controversy slide into the game was unwarranted.

There were a lot of Red Sox fans at Camden Yards Friday night. I didn’t hear any of them suggest that Machado spiked him intentionally. O’s fans seemed to feel the same way. As I left the ballpark I didn’t hear anyone mention it. I didn’t hear anything about it in the bars I went into for an after-game drink. No one was talking about it. In other words, this is nothing more than an effort to make something out of nothing.

Anger and Controversy Slide Into The Red Sox Clubhouse

This incident was about to blow over until reliever Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was immediately ejected, making Friday’s incident a much bigger issue. Now some are saying Pedrioa is partly to blame. Following Sunday’s game, the O’s Zach Britton called Pedrioa’s leadership into question. Britton suggested that Pedrioa can’t control his teammates. It’s one thing to call this a “mishandled situation,” as Pedrioa put it, but it’s another thing to question Pedroia’s integrity. There’s no better ambassador for the Red Sox than Pedrioa. He’s one of those players whose love for the game equals his efforts.

This isn’t something the Red Sox need right now. Barnes should have known better than to throw at Machado over a nothing issue. Pedrioa likely didn’t tell him to do it; it’s not his style. It was an issue that was about to die down until  Barnes made it worse. It was something he decided to do on his own. But that’s between Barnes, his teammates, and John Farrell. Let the Red Sox deal with Barnes and focus on getting Pedrioa back into the lineup.

The best way to deal with this issue is to refocus on baseball. The AL East is unusually competitive this season and the Red Sox need to move on. Instead of dwelling on this insignificant issue, let the Red Sox focus on capturing first place.

John Farrell Signs Contract Extension

john farrell

John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a contract extension through the 2017 season that includes a club option for 2018, according to ESPN.

“I’m very pleased to announce, on behalf of owners, no question in our minds John is theJohn Farrell right man to manage this team and we expect him to be here for a long time,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. “Given that we had been entering the final year of the original contract he signed here, we wanted to get something done with him prior to spring training and almost made it, first day.

“Clearly, we want him to be here as our manager for a long time. It gets the question out of the way going into the season and allows us to focus on baseball.”

The 52-year-old came back to Boston in 2013 and won the World Series as a manager for the first time. He spent his previous two years as a manager with the Toronto Blue Jays while going 154-170 as his first managerial position.

With the Red Sox, Farrell has gone 168-156 while winning a title and finishing last place in the AL East last season. He hope to prove himself in 2015 with a pitching staff made up of Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly and Justin Masterson while also dealing with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup on a daily basis.

The Red Sox manager was a pitching coach under Terry Francona and won a World Series ring with the 2007 team as he helped Josh Beckett and the rest of the starting staff to it second title in four seasons.

With the deal, the Red Sox (and John Farrell) can focus on getting ready for the 2015 season as well as being secure for the next few seasons under a consistent managerial presence.