Cubs’ Joe Maddon: ‘No Place’ In Baseball For A ‘Vigilante Head Hunter’

(CBS) Amid much conversation about pitchers head hunting for retribution following a weekend incident between the Red Sox and Orioles, Cubs manager Joe Maddon expressed his disdain for the dangerous action that can imperil hitters.

“There’s no room in the game for a vigilante head hunter based on a relief pitcher either by a veteran coming up to him, maybe a rogue coach saying something to him, there’s no place in the game for that,” Maddon said in an interview with Matt Spiegel and Danny Parkins on 670 The Score on Tuesday afternoon.

The topic has gained notoriety in recent days after Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes fired a fastball at the head of Orioles star third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday, a move that was in response to Machado’s sliding hard into Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedrioa on Friday night. While the pitch didn’t hit Machado, the intent was clear, and the incident was dangerous and blatant enough that Pedroia himself called it a “mishandled situation” that he didn’t want to see occur. Barnes was ejected, and video appeared to show Pedrioa telling Machado that the intented retribution by his teammate was “bull****.”

“I’ve been around Dustin a couple times, and that really validates why I like him so much and why I appreciate him so much as a competitor on the opposite side, just like you talk about Machado,” Maddon said. “I totally agree with Dustin, absolutely agree with him 100 percent. You should not attempt to retaliate under those circumstances. Machado absolutely did not try to Pedroia on that slide. It was an awkward slide, and Pedrioa happened to be there. It’s not like when Utley took out the guy behind second base.”

Barnes was suspended for four games, but many have been calling for such actions to draw harsher punishment so as to deter it in the future. While not speaking directly to the Red Sox-Orioles incident, Cubs third baseman and reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant called for baseball to take a deeper look at such situations.

“It’s not fun to see that,” Bryant said in an interview with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff on 670 The Score on Tuesday afternoon. “There are more important things in life than playing this game. I think when you’re talking about throwing at guys’ heads, that can affect their lives. So any time that happens, I think it should be talked about. It’s scary.

“Thankfully, no one got hurt, but it’s something that should be addressed.”

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