Manny, Tatis have heated dugout exchange

September 19th, 2021

ST. LOUIS -- When cameras near the dugout caught images and sound of and arguing loudly Saturday night in St. Louis, the perception outside the team emerged that infighting has infected the Padres as their quest for the postseason hits rocky ground.

The team pushed back on that narrative after their 3-2 loss to Cardinals cost them ground in the National League Wild Card race, saying Machado was showing leadership to a younger player.

The theme of the argument seemed to be that Machado thought Tatis was dwelling too long on being called out on strikes by umpire Phil Cuzzi in the fifth inning. Machado, in the videos, can be heard yelling, “You go play baseball!” and, “It’s not about you!” while he gestured in Tatis’ direction.

“It’s not viewed negatively,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “I’m sure people on the outside think whatever they think, but we’re a family. We’re not going to discuss details, but we care. There’s passion, there’s frustration. Those things are natural, but it comes down to a group of men caring.”

In the fifth inning, Tatis argued with Cuzzi on the field, as several other players on both teams had done before, prompting Tingler to emerge from the dugout and join the fray. Tatis had his say but remained in the game while Tingler was ejected.

The video, taken from near the dugout, appeared to be taken shortly before the Padres took the field for the bottom of the fifth. In it, Machado tells Tatis that he’s too good to get caught up in something beyond his control that took place in the past.

Neither Machado nor Tatis was made available to the media Saturday night. The Padres lost on Tyler O’Neill’s eighth-inning home run, falling 2 1/2 games back in the race for the NL’s final Wild Card spot.

“All these guys on the team have played with a ton of different teams and a ton of different players,” infielder said. “A lot of these guys have played on winning teams, world championship teams. And when you come down to these points in the season -- it’s my first time in a pennant race -- everyone’s super passionate about what they do, and they want to win. That’s kind of where we’re at.”