By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox and Dodgers almost made it through the entire World Series without experiencing a Manny Machado incident.
The peaceful streak appeared to come to an end on Saturday night in Game 4 of the series, when Machado grounded out to third base for the second out of the ninth inning. Rafael Devers made a strong throw across the diamond to beat Machado by a full step. Yet as Machado came across the first base bag, his left foot came down directly on the heel of Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce.
Whether or not it was intentional immediately became a debate, but for his part, Pearce didn’t even acknowledge the contact.
That didn’t stop the internet from reacting — with force.
If the incident involved a different player, perhaps it wouldn’t have even been mentioned. But considering Machado is coming off an NLCS during which he performed a couple of questionable slides and also kicked the leg of first baseman Jesus Aguilar …
… and considering Machado has his own history with spiking Red Sox fielders …
… this moment obviously generated quite a bit of attention.
For what it’s worth, though, Machado and Pearce — who played together in Baltimore — are apparently very friendly.
In this case, the spiking — intentional or unintentional — won’t become a major story. But it likely won’t be forgotten as Machado continues to add such incidents to his history.
Machado, who’s set to become a free agent this winter, has gone 4-for-18 (.222) with no extra-base hits during this World Series.
Editor’s Note: Though this story properly referenced Steve Pearce, the headline to this story originally referenced Mitch Moreland. Though Mitch Moreland plays first base for the Red Sox, he was not involved in this play.