Yordano Ventura isn’t making too many friends these days.
The Kansas City Royals pitcher caused a fracas in Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles when he drilled Manny Machado with a pitch in the fifth inning. Ventura already had thrown in on Machado several times, and the incensed shortstop charged the mound to throw a haymaker at the Royals pitcher.
But Tuesday wasn’t the first time Ventura found himself in the middle of escalating tensions — in fact, he’s already incited several brawls in his three-plus seasons with Kansas City. After the game, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had plenty to say about Ventura’s latest antics.
“I knew it was going to happen,” Jones said of Ventura hitting Machado, via USA TODAY Sports. “The guy has electric stuff and the talent is all there, but between the ears, there is a circuit board off balance. I don’t get it.”
Jones also backed his teammate for going after Ventura, taking a page from Josh Donaldson in criticizing baseball’s “beanball culture.”
“Screw it, defend yourself,” Jones said. “Someone is trying to hurt you maliciously, you go out there and defend yourself. I hope the league reviews what happened. When you have a weapon at 100 mph and you don’t have to hit, and you are trying to hurt somebody, that is not part of the game.”
Jones wasn’t done with Ventura, ripping the 25-year-old Dominican Republic native for trying to emulate a Boston Red Sox legend — without the talent or the discretion.
“He wants to be Pedro Martinez. Cool, be Pedro Martinez,” Jones said. “Go out there and have a damn sub-2.00 (ERA) like Pedro Martinez. Don’t go out there to hurt somebody. That is what Pedro didn’t do.”
The Orioles touched up Ventura for six runs in the Royals’ 9-1 loss and owns a 5.32 ERA through 12 starts, so it appears he has quite a long way to go if he wants to be like Pedro.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images
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