It took 13 innings, but the Los Angeles Dodgers walked off on the Milwaukee Brewers in the wee hours of the morning, tying the NLCS at two.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 17, 2018
— MLB (@MLB) October 17, 2018
Manny Machado scored the winning run there, but that was definitely not what the Brewers were talking about when they said things like this after the game:
After Yelich finished answering questions about Machado, he walked away from his locker and blurted out: “F – – k that mother- – – – er.”
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 17, 2018
Instead, what they were talking about was this:
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) October 17, 2018
Sure, Jesus Aguilar is a little more on top of the base than a first baseman should be, and I expect that Machado was trying to register a complaint in a physical way. But that’s ridiculous and over the top by Machado.
Here’s the full play, the ensuing dust-up, and the make-up at first base the next time Machado reached:
While those two may have put it behind them for a moment, the Brewers were not keen on letting it go after the game:
Christian Yelich on Manny Machado: "He’s a player that has a history of those types of incidents. One time is an accident. Repeating it over and over and over again, you’re just a dirty play. It’s a dirty play by a dirty player."
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 17, 2018
"It's a dirty play by a dirty player. I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but you can't respect someone who plays the game like that."
Christian Yelich on Manny Machado pic.twitter.com/TocySpu8fK
— Stephen Watson (@WISN_Watson) October 17, 2018
Counsell on if Manny Machado has gone beyond the bounds of playing hard: “I don’t think he’s playing all that hard,” Counsell said.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 17, 2018
This all comes just a day after Machado told Ken Rosenthal – in response to a separate flap(!) – that he’s not a guy who is ever going to be “Johnny Hustle” out there. AND a game after he twice made high contact with his arm on slides at second base (the second of which led to a called double play). These are not the ways you want to get your name in the news ahead of free agency.
Machado said after the game that he was just trying to get past Aguilar, and if other people want to call it dirty they can call it dirty:
Come for Manny Machado's response to the Brewers calling him a dirty player, stay for Cody Bellinger's facial expressions. pic.twitter.com/2Esp2ZIyCJ
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) October 17, 2018
Machado came into this postseason with a reputation, as all longstanding baseball players develop at some point in their careers. Some parts of that reputation are good. Some parts are not so good. Some parts are fair. Some parts are not so fair. But one thing we know from seeing the narratives that developed surrounding the Cubs and their players over the past few years is that the blinding spotlight of the postseason makes the things that people see and say just a little stickier.
That particular play was – in my view – not acceptable, and, yes, probably something most fans would call “dirty.” I can’t go as far as to label a guy a “dirty” player without a whole lot more than Machado has shown in his career, but last night was not good. And this stuff matters at the margins when you’re talking about the Cubs possibly pursuing Machado as a free agent when he’s expected to cost upwards of $250 to $300 million.