Another MLB fight has gone viral, this after Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and Royals righty Yordano Ventura sparked a benches-clearing brawl in the fifth inning of Baltimore’s 9-1 home win Tuesday.
Ventura hit Machado with a first-pitch 99-mile-per-hour fastball, this after throwing inside on Machado twice in his previous at-bat. Machado charged the mound and got a few licks in before both ended up on the ground.
Afterward, Royals manager Ned Yost, when questioned about the incident, said, “I don’t know who’s at fault there” and refused to answer a question about Ventura’s maturity – or lack thereof.
Curt Schilling couldn’t believe it.
“He’s throwing his pitcher under the bus,” the MLB analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That was mind-boggling to me, that answer right there. You don’t leave that on your pitcher. I’ve never been a big proponent of (Yost). His players obviously love him. I don’t think he’s been a great manager, but that’s a horrible a way to leave your pitcher hanging out there. Let’s be clear. If I was both of those guys in that situation, I would have drilled him in the next at-bat, like he did, and I would have charged the mound like Machado did.”
Indeed, Schilling felt Ventura’s plunking was justified.
“I hit you because you asked me to hit you,” Schilling said. “He’s going down the first base line, saying, ‘You don’t throw inside on me.’ Wait, what? Are you kidding me with that? And I love both of them. I think Manny is one of the most underrated, best players in the game, but these guys are competing. That’s how the game gets played. He didn’t hit him above the shoulders. He tried to hit that little spot under the arm pit is what you try to do, but I don’t blame either one of them for doing what they did.”
Schilling also had no problem with Ventura throwing 99.
“Oh, sure,” Schilling said. “If I’m going to hit him, I want to make sure he remembers 10 days later. I’m not trying to sound like it’s a tough-guy (thing), but the other thing that people forget is these guys are competing to win. They’re not playing a game. They’re competing to win.”
Either way, Schilling was stunned that Yost didn’t stick up for his player. Yost, Schilling said, should have insisted the HBP was not intentional and that Ventura has no maturity issues and is a valued member of the ball club.
Yost said none of that.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” Schilling said. “I think that’s probably as bad as you can possibly answer those questions in that situation. Take the hit for your player (and say), ‘The ball got away from him. He was trying to pitch him in.’ But you don’t say, ‘Go ask him.’ The last thing you want to do after a game like that is talk to the media. Your adrenaline is still flying, so you’re going to give that emotional reaction. If they’re going to suspend him, suspend him, but I thought they both did what they were supposed to do in that situation.”
Interestingly, Yost didn’t come to Ventura’s offense, and neither did his catcher, Salvador Perez, whose only job in that situation is to get between the hitter and the pitcher. After the incident, Ventura was sitting on the bench alone.
Is it possible that the Royals don’t have Ventura’s back?
“Putting all those things together means speculating your butt off about each one,” Schilling said, “other than Sal Perez completely hosing his only job in that situation. I don’t know why (Ventura) was sitting at the end of the bench. Like I said, what Ned Yost said is, I think, the opposite of what a really good manager would say to protect a player – unless he doesn’t care about the player. I don’t know. It’s a legitimate conversation. He got left hung out to dry in both situations.”