Former champion compares Juan Soto to Manny Machado in dirty play discussion

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New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians - Game Two
New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians - Game Two / Jason Miller/GettyImages

In a moment that otherwise would've been lost to history without a corresponding Eric Hosmer tweet, Yankees star Juan Soto clonked into Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor while attempting to return to the bag, then embellished the contact by attempting to shove him out of the way.

It was a little "obstruction-y". The umpires told Aaron Boone they planned to ignore it and that he should head back to the dugout, and he obliged. All things considered, it ranked as a footnote in the Yankees-Guardians "rivalry series," which resulted in New York taking two of three before fumbling away a chance at a sweep on Sunday.

But it was no footnote to Eric Hosmer, the recently retired first baseman who's now embarking on a media career. So far, he's certainly been more active on Twitter since hanging up his spikes, sharing unfiltered opinions and opening a window into what it was like to be a grinder in 2010s MLB, an era that was both quite literally a few years ago and kind of feels like eons ago.

On Sunday afternoon, Hosmer quote tweeted a video of Soto's light shove/the small-and-odd kerfuffle, and used it to make a point about "No. 13," his former teammate Manny Machado. Hosmer believes that, if Machado had done the same thing as Soto here, he'd be labeled a dirty player.

On the contrary, we believe that if Soto -- the face of the Yankees, a team everyone hates -- wasn't publicly labeled "dirty" for this move, it probably would've rolled right off Machado's back, too.

Eric Hosmer: Juan Soto is as dirty as Manny Machado, and also neither are dirty?

No offense, but this isn't exactly "stomping on Jesús Aguilar's foot during the 2018 NLCS"-level stuff from Soto. It's not in the ballpark of Kent Hrbek pushing Ron Gant off first base in the 1991 World Series, which, in retrospect, ranks as one of the funniest non-calls in baseball history.

Fortunately for Yankee fans, Hosmer's thesis wasn't, "Soto is dirty and should be banned," but instead, "Neither player is dirty." He quickly won back any New Yorkers he'd lost by clapping back to someone who accused Machado of "ending Dustin Pedroia's career" with a snipe from the corner.

The end of Pedroia -- an all-time agitator's -- career was certainly a bummer, but he went out on a full-throttle play that he himself probably would've committed, too. That -- plus not judging a book prematurely by its cover (featuring an upraised spike) -- was Hosmer's ultimate point.

It would be nice if we could avoid clumsiness at first base moving forward, though. Still seems to be affecting Anthony Rizzo from last year.