When the Baltimore Orioles signed Oriole slugger Manny Machado to a five-year contract in 2014, fans of the franchise had long wanted a chance to watch the former All-Star.
The franchise had made its name on the baseball diamond, but its future had never been more secure than now.
Machado and his teammates were expected to fill the void left by the retirement of Manny Macho.
But the franchise was in the midst of a rebuild.
The team had struggled to find a home on the field, and its home field, Comerica Park, was the least-favored among baseball stadiums.
In addition, the team was facing a long wait to sign new players to replace those who had left, like slugger Chris Davis, who was coming off shoulder surgery.
The Orioles had just finished a disappointing season in which they finished dead last in the AL East.
And with Machado signed to a four-year, $50 million deal, the Orioles seemed poised to take a major step forward in their rebuilding effort.
But on July 14, the day Machado was expected to sign his deal, a group of fans gathered outside the stadium, calling out to the player.
It was then that the Baltimore police arrived and began arresting Machado.
Macho, who had been on a plane to Los Angeles, was taken to the local jail and booked into a local jail on a misdemeanor assault charge.
But he was released soon after, and was then arrested again on a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and released on bond.
He was later released after posting $1,500 bond, and posted $5,000 bail on Friday, and is expected to be released Monday.
The incident came just one day after Orioles players, fans, and coaches participated in the Black Lives Matter movement.
It also came a few weeks after the team suspended its player-ownership contract with Macho and his family.
The players and coaches spoke out against the police actions in an emotional statement released Friday, calling for Machado’s release and an investigation into the incident.
The Ravens were also one of the first Major League Baseball teams to come out in support of the Black Men’s March on Washington.
In a statement, the organization said it has “serious concerns” about the arrest of Machado, which is part of a larger “pattern of police brutality.”
“We stand by our players in the most difficult time they are in,” the statement read.
“We will continue to stand by them as they fight to end racial injustice in this country.
Our players and staff stand together to call for justice for Manny Machados family and friends.
We are committed to working with our community to build a safer world.”
The statement was signed by the players, coaches, and team president Dan Duquette.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Manny Machados family and loved ones during this difficult time,” the players’ statement read, adding that they stand with his family “as they fight for justice.”
The Orioles and Machado have since reached an undisclosed deal, according to a team official.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Machado is scheduled to return to the team for its Aug. 31 game against the Boston Red Sox.