Manny Machado and the Boston Red Sox undoubtedly had had squabbles in recent years.
Machado, who recently agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, spiked Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia in 2017, which prompted Matt Barnes to retaliate by throwing at his head two days later. The 26-year-old appeared to also intentionally drag his leg across the Milwaukee Brewers’ Jesus Aguilar in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, which further legitimized his label as a dirty player. 2018 World Series MVP Steve Pearce has a different opinion of the star infielder, whom he was teammates with during their time together with the Baltimore Orioles
“I believe he’s misperceived,” Pearce said, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith. “I know him on a personal level. Him and his wife, they’re great people. And it’s unfortunate what happened last postseason kind of got blown up a little bit. But sometimes you can judge a person off your eyes. But once you get to know him on a personal level, he’s just a great dude.”
Machado won’t be making a return to Fenway Park this season, but the Red Sox will see their longtime foe when they visit Petco Park Aug. 23-25.