Dodgers villain Manny Machado will hear it from Fenway faithful
There are sure to be loud cheers for manager Dave Roberts, a member of the 2004 Red Sox and noted base stealer, when the Los Angeles Dodgers are introduced before Game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Park on Tuesday,
Former Sox lefthander Rich Hill, a Milton native, will get a warm reception, too.
That Manny Machado will be booed — and loudly — is another sure thing.
Machado intentionally spiked Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar in Game 4 of the NLCS and was fined $10,000 by Major League Baseball.
Red Sox fans will remember that along with Machado’s aggressive slide into Dustin Pedroia on April 21, 2017. Pedroia came away with a badly injured left knee.
Machado, then with the Baltimore Orioles, was booed lustily in his next game at Fenway. Later in that series, on May 2, Chris Sale threw a fastball behind Machado’s legs in retaliation.
Machado responded with a profane postgame tirade that included his having lost respect for everyone with the Sox.
“Old history,” Machado said Monday.
Maybe to him it is. Pedroia needed surgery that cost him all but three games this season.
At the time, Pedroia did not feel Machado’s slide was dirty. Has that opinion changed in light of the incident with Aguilar?
“I don’t know,” Pedroia said. “I think my focus has always been on, being an older guy, teaching the younger guys how to play the game right, respect the game, things like that. I don’t get involved with guys not on my team and how they go about everything. I’m pretty good at minding my business and pretty good at telling our guys, hey, when you put on our uniform, this is how you represent yourself and your teammates and your organization.”
There are volumes being said between the lines there.
Sale passed on giving his opinion.
“We have bigger things to worry about now on both sides, on their side and on our side,” he said. “We’re dedicated to winning this World Series.”
Machado defended his actions and said the booing would not bother him.
“I’m the best person I could be on my team, try to be as good as a teammate as you can possibly be, and at the end of the day, just leave it all on the field,” he said. “That’s what I do.
“We’re used to the noise. We play in front of the noise every day.”
The Wright stuff?
The Sox have until Tuesday morning to set their roster. They’re still evaluating the status of Steven Wright.
Wright was taken off the Division Series roster after Game 1 with a sore left knee. He has since rebounded and pitched a simulated game on Sunday.
“He was OK,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He’s moving well.”
Pitching coach Dana LeVangie said Wright’s knuckleball was moving pretty well given his last appearance in a game was Sept. 29.
“He did a nice job,” LeVangie said. “It’s hard to say how effective he could be. But he went above and beyond to try and help us.”
Cora a groundbreaker
For Cora, being the first World Series manager from baseball-mad Puerto Rico is a significant achievement, especially in the wake of the damage done by Hurricane Maria last year.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’m proud to be here. I’m proud representing not only all the Puerto Ricans that live in the island, but Puerto Ricans all around the world.
“We know what happened last year. It was a tough one. And Maria kicked our ass. As a country, we’ve done an outstanding job fighting. We’re standing up on our own two feet. I know there’s a lot of people back home they’re proud of me, of what I’ve done throughout the year. But I’m proud of them.”
Cora and Roberts are the first two minority managers in the same Series. Roberts’s father is African-American and his mother Japanese.
“I don’t take a whole lot of time in kind of thinking about it, but when I do, it’s special,” Roberts said. “It’s not about myself or Alex. Just to see the minorities get opportunities and perform and do well, I think that that gives opportunities for others.
“So there’s responsibility that I know that Alex shares and I do to do things the right way and to be good leaders.”
Barrett leads umps
Major League Baseball named Ted Barrett umpire crew chief for the Series. Tim Timmons, Kerwin Danley, Chad Fairchild, Jeff Nelson, and Jim Reynolds will join him. Fieldin Culbreth (Games 1-2) and Timmons (Game 3-on) will have replay duties.
Fairfield will be making his World Series debut. This will be the fourth Series for Barrett and Nelson.
Timmons will have the plate in Game 1.
There are 2,588 miles between Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium, the longest between venues of any two series opponents. That surpassed the 2,568 miles between Yankee Stadium and Candlestick Park in 1962 . . . The Red Sox are 12-2 in the World Series since 2004 and 6-1 at home, outscoring the NL teams, 48-19 . . . Red Sox relievers have a 3.62 earned run average through nine playoff games. Opposing relievers have a 5.53 ERA against the Sox. Sox relievers have stranded their last 14 inherited runners. That goes back to Game 2 of the Division Series . . . The Dodgers have 15 players with prior World Series experience. The Red Sox have seven . . . Cora has posted photos from every victory this season in his office. He plans to auction them off to raise money for The Jimmy Fund. “We’re going to make a lot of money for that, and it’s for the right reason, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.