The bottom of the 10th inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers featured a benches-clearing incident involving Manny Machado and Jesus Aguilar. The move upset Aguilar and the two got into a heated exchange before benches cleared.
Major League Baseball fined Machado an undisclosed amount Wednesday, a day after the baserunning incident caused the benches to clear at Dodger Stadium and prompted Brewers MVP candidate Christian Yelich to call Machado a "dirty player".
This is from Game 3 - thanks to a Brewers challenge about whether it was illegal, replay revealed it was against the rules.
Sure, Jesus Aguilar is a little more on top of the base than a first baseman should be, and I expect that Machado was trying to register a complaint in a physical way. He got the last laugh in the 13th inning when he came around to score from second on Cody Bellinger's single to give the Dodgers a 2-1 win and even the NLCS at 2-2, ending the 5-hour, 15-minute affair.
After the game, Christian Yelich called it "a dirty play by a dirty player", and then referred to Machado as something you should not say in front of your parents.
"If that's dirty, that's dirty", Machado said, according to MLB.com.
Others watching the game thought Machado intentionally kicked Aguilar.
If the Dodgers win on either Friday or Saturday, they'll advance to Machado's first World Series, enhancing his visibility.
It was fascinating to watch Machado's first at-bat Wednesday.
And before the teams played Game 5 on Wednesday - with the series tied 2-2 - both managers tried to defuse any controversy. But Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he expected it to be business as usual on the field. I don't know what his problem is, honestly. Repeated over and over and over again, it's a dirty play. "You have 30 owners - all want you right now", he said.
No argument there. Machado has been playing at the speed of Manny since he broke in with the Orioles in 2012, and for the most part, it hasn't been a big problem.
But Yelich and Travis Shaw, who called it "a pretty dirty play" and "not a mistake", responded with pointed criticism towards Machado.