On Saturday in St. Louis, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. were glimpsed having a heated exchange in the dugout, which was the result of Tatis' almost being ejected for arguing a called strike three. The tiff took place against the broader backdrop of the Padres' recent struggles -- struggles that have seen them tumble out of playoff position and into longshot territory. Whatever the reasons, the Machado-Tatis confrontation has advanced the narrative that the Padres are falling apart not only on the field but also in the clubhouse.
So in advance of the Padres' home game against the first-place Giants on Tuesday, Machado and Tatis addressed the incident before reporters. Here's video of their remarks:
Notably, Machado apologized to the fans for what happened and then said the matter has been addressed within the team:
"We handled it internally. We've got a team that's trying to compete and get to the World Series. We haven't been playing such great baseball, so emotions get involved, and it gets the better of us. Those are situations that we learn [from], as leaders, as a team, as an organization. And we just get better from that."
As for Tatis, he also cast the incident as being behind them and possibly something that can galvanize the club moving forward:
"It's part of baseball. It's part of this game. It's part of what this game brings out, especially when good players are trying to win, and stuff is not going our way.
"At the end of the day, it's: 'Glad it happened.' I feel like that makes us stronger. You go inside, and you talk about it, and you analyze it, and you just come together."
The focus now is on clawing their way back into playoff position, but that will be difficult. Thanks largely to a 23-34 mark since the break, the Padres are now five games out of the second and final NL wild card spot and behind the Cardinals. To make matters worse, their final 11 games come against the playoff-positioned Giants, Dodgers, and Braves.