Orioles’ Manny Machado checks on catcher after hitting him with backswing

June 11, 2014

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Before he intentionally threw his bat on Sunday, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado twice hit A’s catcher Derek Norris in the head with his backswing (or follow-through, if you prefer), forcing him to leave the game. Machado didn’t so much as look back at Norris to see if he was okay, which was a rather rude way to respond.

“Most guys [will say], ‘You’re all right?’ But if anything, I might’ve caught him smiling one time, which is kind of bizarre,” Norris told reporters after the game.

Machado apologized to Norris on Monday, but in the wake of the incident, his name will be evoked when other batters hit other catchers with their backswings for the foreseeable future. Take Tuesday, for instance.

Poor Norris; he was hit in the head again by Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, who showed some compassion.

Machado, who will appeal his five-game suspension, was in the lineup Tuesday and — wouldn’t you know it? — hit Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski with his backswing before striking out to end Baltimore’s 1-0 loss. His reaction this time was different.

“How about that?” MASN broadcaster Gary Thorne said. “He got him, caught him in the backswing and made sure he said something to Pierzynski. Lesson learned. … That’s when you know the lesson instilled was instilled solidly by his teammates, when in a clutch situation, and pressure point of a game like this, he remembers.”

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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