Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. got into a heated argument in the dugout on Saturday night, but the two San Diego Padres superstars insist the incident is not a reflection of their relationship with one another.
A fan in St. Louis captured a cell phone video of Machado unloading on Tatis and cursing at him in the dugout not long after Tatis complained about a called third strike on him. Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants, Machado and Tatis met with reporters together to show everything is fine between them.
Machado said the argument was “not a big deal.” He also called Tatis his “little brother.”
“We’ve got a team that’s trying to compete and get to the World Series. We haven’t been playing great baseball, so emotions get involved and get the better of us at times,” Machado said. “Those are situations we learn from as a team, as a leader, as an organization, and just get better from it.”
“It’s part of what this game brings out, especially when good players are trying to win and stuff is not going our way,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m glad it happened. I feel like that will bring us stronger (together).”
The comments are hardly a surprise. Machado and Tatis are the Padres’ two best players, and the team has faded over the last few weeks. After another loss on Tuesday (their fourth straight), San Diego is now five games back of the second NL Wild Card spot with just 12 games remaining.
Machado has a reputation for being a distraction and brought a lot of it on himself, but he was actually showing leadership by going after Tatis. The fact that the two met with reporters together indicates Tatis did not take it personally.