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D-backs assistant GM on Machado interference: ‘It was the right call’

While the Arizona Diamondbacks took home the 8-5 win Tuesday night, the game didn’t come to an end without a bit of controversy revolving around San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.

Already cruising up 6-2, D-backs pitcher Zack Greinke, who had his first-ever two-home run night and struck out 10 batters on the way to his first win of the season, faced Machado in the sixth inning.

The third baseman popped the ball straight up toward the foul line, in the vicinity of catcher John Ryan Murphy.

But instead of giving Murphy room to make the play, Machado ran to first base directly behind the catcher, while also tossing his bat just feet from Murphy. Murphy ended up dropping the pop up.

Machado was then called out for interference by the home-plate umpire, prompting Padres manager Andy Green out of the dugout to dispute the call. Green was later ejected, and Machado was still ruled out.

Per MLB rule 6.01(a)(10) comment, “When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should be called.”

If the umpire feels that the interference was deliberate, however, he can make the call to either reward the runner with the base, if the fielder initiates the interference, or call the runner out.

While all sides of the argument weigh in on if the interference was deliberate that led to the out, and subsequently the ejection, D-backs senior vice president and assistant general manager Jared Porter didn’t see anything wrong with the call.

“It was the right call,” Porter told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday. “You know it’s funny, we have a guy named Rich Marazzi come in every year and speak to our coaches, he’s kinda the major league rules guru, he goes around to different teams and meets with them during spring training. And Rich addressed that specific incident with our group a couple weeks ago at spring training.

“The batter has to avoid that situation, has to avoid contact, has to avoid the ball, has to avoid the catcher in that area and clearly in the replay he did not do that. Now, Manny might not know that rule, I do think a lot of these rules are tough for players so maybe he felt like it was his territory to run through but I think it was the right call.”

On the other side of the call, the third baseman, who just signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres in 2019, felt that he was in the right.

“No, I hit the ball, looked up, saw it, put my head down, went to go run,” Machado told reporters when asked if he interfered with the play.

“I mean I don’t even think I touched [Murphy], he even said no. Things happen on the ball field, as a player we really don’t feel, I don’t think I hit him, maybe on instant replay I did but who knows I haven’t seen the replay yet, but from what I was aware of I don’t think I touched him, no.”

The D-backs will try for their first sweep of the season as they take on Machado and the Padres in the series finale Wednesday.

Catch all the action on ESPN 620 AM.

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