WASHINGTON — Mike Rizzo opted not to comment directly on the brewing Orioles-Red Sox feud, but the Nationals General Manager and President of Baseball Operations did make his stance on baseball’s unwritten rules crystal clear.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado unleashed a profanity laced tirade in Boston Tuesday evening, hours after Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale threw a pitch behind him, narrowly missing his body. Machado perceived the pitch to be a targeted attempt by Sale aimed at asserting baseball’s unwritten rules, more than a week after Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia in a previous game.
Prompted by the Burke & Herbert Fan Question of the Week, Rizzo was asked for his thoughts on the exchange during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies Wednesday morning.
What are your thoughts on the Red Sox-Orioles feud? Unwritten rules of baseball often lead to players getting thrown at and the benches clearing. Have times changed often to update these rules, or do you think there’s still a place for it? — Harrison in Franconia
“I’m not going to comment on any specific situation,” Rizzo said. “I think in these cases, I’ve always thought that players police themselves and I think that’s these unwritten rules. Players police themselves, leaders on teams police their teams and I think that’s the way it has to continue.”
“That’s how this game’s been for a long time,” he said. “I know in my playing career, that when things happen, you kind of take care of them yourself as a team; there’s nobody that has to tell you what to do or not to do and there’s the right way of doing things and the wrong way of doing things. I think these players have to conduct themselves in a way where the leadership on the team has to dictate how things are handled.”