A.J. Pierzynski says no hard feelings after Manny Machado checked in after clipping him on backswing

June 11, 2014 - 1:57 pm
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BALTIMORE -- Two days after he hit Derek Norris with his back swing -- and incited outrage from the Athletics by not asking the Oakland catcher if he was OK, in an escalating series of events that culminated in a five-game suspension for throwing his bat -- Manny Machado showed that he had learned from his mistakes. Late in the Red Sox' 1-0 win over the O's on Tuesday, Machado clipped Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. There was no need for outrage. "He asked me if I was OK. It was pretty standard. Most guys do that," said Pierzynski. "Almost every guy does that when you get hit by a back swing, they always ask if you're OK." Getting whacked by a backswing is one of the many indignities to which catchers must subject themselves stoically. "Your initial reaction is just to make sure you're OK. After that, it happens. It's part of [catching]," said Pierzynski. "You don't want to believe that anyone would do it on purpose. You don't think that they're doing it on purpose. You just kind of get your bearings, then once you get your bearings, you go from there." Still, given that Machado clipped A's catcher Derek Norris just two days before he also got Pierzynski, does Machado need to make any kind of adjustment to minimize his contact with catchers? "I don't know. I don't know if you can control that. I've maybe hit a catcher maybe a couple times in my career. Just different guys have longer follow-throughs," said Pierzynski. "I don't know if it's something, just the way you're brought up, how you've swung since you're a kid. I don't know if there is anything you can do to change it. I guess you could try to shorten up, but I think that would probably be hard to do at this point." Indeed, Pierzysnki noted that the person behind the plate also has some responsibility for knowing the swings of his opponents and avoiding contact. "It's on the catcher," said Pierzynski. "There's guys I knew in the past who I was like, 'Man, this guy has a long backswing,' so you scoot back a little bit. Some guys, [Jacoby Ellsbury] is known for having catcher's interference so you scoot back a little bit."

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