“If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado, as much as I love him,” Martinez said Friday before participating in a roundtable luncheon benefiting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later. “The only thing I would have done differently was probably [throw] the ball a little bit lower. But everything else was the nature of baseball.”
Martinez never hesitated to pitch inside during his Hall of Fame career, especially when it meant standing up for a teammate. Although he said he’s sure Machado didn’t intentionally try to injure Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia with a high slide on April 21, Martinez also acknowledged that it was “normal for the game of baseball” that the Baltimore Orioles star was going to get hit by a pitch.
Machado didn’t actually get hit. Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw a 90 mph pitch behind Machado’s head and received a four-game suspension.
“I’m going to put it this way: Machado did not intend to hurt Pedroia, and I know that because I know Machado,” said Martinez, who works for the Red Sox as a special assistant. “Barnesy did not mean to throw the ball at Machado’s head. That’s another thing. But the results at the end were the right ones.
“Hopefully it won’t linger around for too long, or nobody will make it personal.”
The Orioles will visit Fenway Park for a four-game series against the Red Sox beginning Monday night.