Applaud Pedroia for how he's handled getting spiked and all that's come after

I love Major League Baseball more than most things in life. I really, genuinely like most of the players, too, but let's face it: Players act like children far too often.

Getting in fights over the dumbest of perceived injustices, having their feelings hurt because an opponent was too excited, being angry when an opponent is angry at himself, whining when opposing players are allowed to steal bases or score runs, insinuating opposing players are juicing without any evidence, etc. It's just an awful lot of whining and it's usually a pretty bad look, once you get to a relatively mature portion of adulthood in order to recognize just how childish it is. 

In that vein, it seems pretty silly to praise someone for not acting like a pampered child, but I'm going to do that anyway. 

Bravo, Dustin Pedroia

In light of Manny Machado's terrible but pretty clearly unintentional slide on Friday night, there was fallout. When asked about if there should be retaliation on Saturday, Pedroia said, per the Boston Herald, "I've got three kids. I don't have time for that." 

He even mentioned that he wasn't the baseball "police." 

Thank you, Dustin. 

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Dustin Pedroia was injured on a Manny Machado slide on Friday. USATSI

When the Red Sox did throw at Machado's head, Pedroia could be seen telling Machado it wasn't him who called for it. He also reportedly texted Machado afterward to apologize.

Now, the latter two cases have caused a ripple on the internet of awful takes like "Pedroia threw his teammate under the bus" along with suggestions that Pedroia was somehow being a bad teammate. 

You know what? If Matt Barnes was throwing at Machado's head on purpose, he should be thrown under any bus available, and teammates who actually have to bat should tell him in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable. There is absolutely no place in the game for throwing at someone's head. 

Also, for the chest-thumpers out there who think it's macho or manly to throw at someone's head, even setting aside that we're talking about something that could cause serious life-altering injury, you have it backward. It's the height of cowardice. 

Hurling an object from 60-plus feet away at someone's head couldn't be further from tough. Picture a playground fight. One kid runs 60 feet away and throws a rock at the other's head. He's the tough one? Get real. Not to mention that if a pitcher connects on this pitch, the hitter is likely unable to fight back. Ooh, how manly! 

All your "tough guy" arguments are ignorant. 

After the game, Pedroia reiterated that he's not mad at Machado and the play was just a part of baseball.

"Yeah I saw it," he said, per the Herald. "I don't care. I mean, c'mon. That's baseball man."

He's right. It was a terrible slide, but sometimes these things happen. That doesn't mean you go and throw at someone's head. Pedroia mentioned that this isn't the right way to protect a teammate and he's 100 percent correct. 

Face it, Barnes badly messed up. He either threw at someone's head intentionally or he didn't have enough command of his stuff to even attempt to come inside. Either way, it was bad and he deserved to be called out because of the recklessness of that pitch. Pedroia, the Red Sox team leader, took care of it.

I have no idea why so many people (I searched on Twitter and, man, it was slightly depressing) think Barnes has such a fragile personality that he can't be told "this was unacceptable" by a teammate. Maybe it goes back to my intro paragraph and how often we see players acting like children. I don't know. I do know that when someone tells me I did an awful job on something and they are correct, my general reaction is "I'm a big boy, I can take it and I need to do better." 

Barnes himself dealt with it just fine. Here he was on Monday: 

And yet, a bunch of Red Sox fans replied to that very tweet with anger regarding Pedroia. It's lunacy. 

Another layer is that Orioles closer Zach Britton said the following, per BaltimoreBaseball.com:

"Dustin, him telling Manny, 'Hey, that didn't come from me' may be even more frustrating," Britton told BaltimoreBaseball.com. "Because he's the leader of that clubhouse and if he can't control his own teammates, then there's a bigger issue over there."

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Britton was told what Pedroia said to the media, and responded: "Good. Glad he did. But what if Manny's on the ground with blood coming out of his ears? What is Dustin going to say then? It's better to be proactive than reactive."

Britton insinuates Pedroia didn't tell his teammates to retaliate, but he actually said through the media he wanted no retaliation. Surely the message was delivered to the rest of the team. 

Pedroia's response? 

It's the high road, respect and professionalism all wrapped into one. 

Thank you, Dustin. 

As for the situation, he just wants it put to bed: 

I will do that now. I hope all the clowns that were calling him a bad teammate do the same. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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