Dustin Pedroia says he won't play 'baseball police' on Manny Machado slide

BALTIMORE -- Dustin Pedroia will leave it to others to judge whether Manny Machado's controversial slide into second base Friday night was clean or dirty, legal or against the rules.

But Pedroia isn't afraid to say that it wasn't very smart.

Pedroia wasn't in the Boston Red Sox's lineup Saturday, his left ankle and surgically repaired left knee still sore after being spiked by Machado in the eighth inning of the Baltimore Orioles' 2-0 series-opening victory. Pedroia's injuries aren't considered serious (he wasn't sent for additional testing), and Red Sox manager John Farrell labeled them a "day-to-day situation."

But debate over Machado's slide has a chance to persist throughout the weekend, the Red Sox maintaining that it was out of bounds, the Orioles downplaying it as much as possible. Pedroia, who hobbled off the field and left the game, finally had a chance to watch the replay but declined to express any anger.

"I'm not the baseball police, man," he said. "I've got three kids. I don't have time for that."

Pedroia did, however, elaborate on the play itself, which began with Mark Trumbo's slow roller to shortstop. Xander Bogaerts made a throw to the outfield side of the second-base bag, forcing Pedroia to stretch for it and enabling Machado to slide to the front of the base.

"We're trying to get one out," Pedroia said. "I just put my foot on the back part of the base to try to get that out. If [Machado] just slid into the part of the base that I gave him, he would've been safe. Luckily he didn't. We got that out."

Indeed, Machado slid beyond the bag. The lateness of the slide -- Farrell called it "extremely late" -- is debatable. But Machado slid high with his spikes making contact with the back of Pedroia's left calf.

Machado maintained that the slide "wasn't intentional." He also contacted Pedroia via text message after the game. Pedroia declined to share details of that conversation.

"Do you want me to add you to the text?" Pedroia said. "This isn't a group chat, man. I just said thanks for reaching out. That's it.

"I don't have an issue with anything. My job is to play baseball and win. This isn't seventh grade, man. I just play baseball. That's it. I care about our guys. I don't care about anybody else. We just play the game."

Farrell said he spoke Saturday to MLB vice president Joe Torre about the legality of the slide. Based on the rule that went into effect last season, Torre explained that Trumbo wasn't called out at first base because Pedroia never attempted to turn a double play. But Farrell countered that Machado's slide prevented Pedroia from attempting to turn two.

"Clearly there's a difference of opinion in how that rule was interpreted and certainly the slide," Farrell said. "Bottom line is this: If that slide last night is not deemed an illegal slide, we should just get rid of the rule."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he can understand why the Red Sox would have been angry with the way things turned out and said it's "good for baseball" if Pedroia doesn't miss much time. Likewise, he suggested any outrage over the slide might be heightened because it was Machado, who has been suspended for previous dust-ups involving the Oakland A's in 2013 and the Kansas City Royals last year.

As for whether the Red Sox will seek retaliation for Machado's slide, Showalter said Friday night that he wouldn't be surprised. Knuckleballer Steven Wright is scheduled to start Saturday night for the Red Sox.

"I know how those things seem to play out now the next day," Showalter said.

But Showalter also lashed out Saturday at media reports that he perceived called for the Red Sox to hit Machado. It marked the second time in as many weeks that Showalter has taken aim at the media. He suggested last week that the Red Sox's team-wide flu outbreak received more notoriety than most teams receive when faced with a similar predicament.

"Not real impressed with some people in the media calling for somebody to be thrown at. I don't think that really fits their job description," said Showalter, who didn't cite a specific example. "That's their choice, how they choose to do their job. That's the world we live in. I know that's a lot of respect from both teams for each other."