Photo: John Bazemore (AP)

It is unclear when and where the beef between Manny Machado and Blooper, the Braves’ strange mascot, began. It dates back to at least last season, Blooper’s rookie year, when Santa Blooper gave Machado a lump of coal, and later, in the playoffs, when Machado, uh, refused to mount Blooper(?). It has only stewed and simmered over the winter, and over the course of this week’s Padres-Braves series in Atlanta, it has exploded into fraud, larceny, and attempted assault.

A four-game series (split by the teams after Thursday’s 11-2 Padres win) allows for plenty of time for escalation. On Monday, Machado got Blooper with the oldest trick in the book.

On Tuesday, Blooper retaliated by going after Machado’s wallet. He received sunflower seeds for his troubles.

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On Wednesday, in an excellent bit of mascot hijinks, Blooper defrauded Machado out of the entirety of his $300 million contract. Sad to see it.

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But, before yesterday afternoon’s series finale, Machado appeared to set things right, stealing back the giant novelty check before Blooper could cash it at a giant novelty bank. Blooper’s attempt to retrieve his ill-gotten gains was halted by Machado’s confederates.

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No, I’m still not sure what Blooper’s supposed to be.

The Padres do not return to Atlanta this season, so the judges’ scorecards give this one to Machado, because he is still very rich and, unlike Blooper, not an affront to god.