Results tagged ‘ Manny Machado ’

Baltimore Orioles: Did Brandon Hyde out-manage himself?

One day after trading for him, the Baltimore Orioles promoted Asher Wojchiekowski to the big leagues to make the start tonight against Tampa. And aside from the very tail end of his outing, he didn’t faire poorly. He kept the O’s in the game for sure Wojchiekowski’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Wojchiekowski have up a first inning home run to Lowe, however the Orioles evened the score in the third at one on a solo homer by Chris Davis. For what it’s worth, Davis had gone 86 consecutive plate appearances without a homer. However Lowe put Tampa ahead once again in the bottom of that third inning with an RBI-single.

But the sixth inning is where Wojchiekowski started to tire. Manager Brandon Hyde would leave him in to pitch to Diaz (keeping a righty-righty match up), who proceeded to smack a two-RBI double. One inning later Hyde would bring in Jimmy Yacabonis to match up righty-righty against Pham – who proceeded to smack a two-RBI double. The O’s would close to within 6-3 in the ninth on Chance Sisco‘s two-run homer, but that was as close as they got.

Granted all other things being the same, the O’s would have won that game 3-2 if not for those Hyde moves at the end. I think it’s easy to say based squarely on the results that Hyde erred in judgement by playing the match ups there. It’s also easy to say that he’s a rookie manager and he’s going to make mistakes.

However matching up is the right thing to do on paper in that situation. “The book” says to do exactly what Brandon Hyde did. But is the book being re-written?

Baseball’s evolving more and more every year. As an example, I used to call pitches during games, taking into account what the hitter’s track record is in the game, the situation on the base paths, the count, etc. And I used to be pretty good at it. Notice I said used to be; I certainly haven’t forgotten how the game works. But the fact is that the game’s passed me by in a sense.

There’s no such thing as a fastball count anymore. Or an off-speed count, etc. You can’t anticipate that anymore because now it’s about doing the opposite of what your opponent thinks you’re going to do.

What does this have to do with Brandon Hyde? It’s meant to show how the game is changing. Old school people such as myself don’t have to like it but that’s how the game is evolving. Another way is that perhaps matching up isn’t the advantage it used to be. Nowadays hitters are simply preparing themselves to hit whomever and whatever comes at them.

That aside, keep in mind that matching up was also about commanding the inside corner. However hitters are seemingly more patient now than they were in other eras. If you can’t hit the black, teams are just going to take a walk.

These are things of which Brandon Hyde needs to be aware. Again, I personally think that he did the right thing in these situations. But conventional wisdom seems to have a way of backfiring of late.

The series closes tomorrow night at Tropicana Field. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and Tampa hasn’t yet announced a pitcher. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall to San Diego, Manny Machado in homer parade

The Baltimore Orioles welcomed Manny Machado back to Oriole Park at Camden Yards this evening for the first time as a visitor. First and foremost, the fans at Camden Yards tonight did the Orioles and the city of Baltimore proud. The reaction to Manny when he came up to bat for the first time was incredibly positive. As opposed to coming across as jilted lovers full of sour grapes, Orioles fans conducted themselves with honor.

Jimmy Yacabonis was the Orioles’ “opener” this evening, unfortunately not with the results that the Birds would have wanted. Yacabonis’ line: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K. The big culprit? Home runs.

However the O’s did briefly have the lead. Trey Mancini‘s RBI-single in the first inning gave the Birds a 1-0 lead. However Margot’s two-RBI single in the second put San Diego in the driver’s seat for good at 2-1.

Later in the inning Tatis smacked a two-run homer to drive the lead up to 4-1. One inning later Manny Machado came up for his second at-bat, and promptly deposited a ball into the San Diego bullpen. The O’s trailed 5-1.

And that right there is why I’m glad Orioles fans cheered for Manny. Had he been boo’d the way that Bryce Harper was in Washington, odds are Machado would have posed at home plate after hitting that home run. And are we to believe that the national media wouldn’t have eaten that up? And who would have been spun as the villain? Baltimore, and the Orioles fans.

Margot would smack a solo homer in the fourth, and Machado would add another run on an RBI-single. This after Dwight Smith Jr smacked an RBI-double in the third. It was almost a triple, however Smith came off the bag at third.

And it’s little details like that which are haunting the Orioles. That had the potential to be a big inning. However Smith coming off the bag at third ended that. You have to take advantage of opportunities you’re given. San Diego did. The Orioles did not.

The two teams swapped homers before the game ended, with the Orioles’ coming in the seventh off the bat of Richie Martin. However the homer parade killed the Orioles once again. San Diego hit four home runs in the game. They’ve got to stop these homers from happening, as they’re getting the Orioles way behind in games.

The series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by San Diego’s Matt Strahm. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado to San Diego

Yesterday word finally came that former Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman Manny Machado has found a landing spot. Machado signed a ten-year deal worth $300 million with…the San Diego Padres. Nobody saw that coming – Manny to not only a west coast team, but a small market team. And one who’s probably not in a spot to win now at that.

But this is good news for Orioles fans. First and foremost, he’s out of the AL East. The Orioles were always wary (some would say too wary) that he’d end up in the Bronx. Furthermore he’s in the National League. The only way Manny signing with a team would have worked out better for the Birds is had he signed back here again.

For what it’s worth, San Diego does visit Camden Yards this year. They come in for a two-game series on June 25-26th. There’ll be an interesting dynamic in that series because while Manny will be returning to the park where his career began and where he undoubtedly has lots of memories, the Orioles team he’ll be facing certainly looks much different than what he knew before.

However needless to say, those two games should be fun for Manny and the Orioles fans. My hope is that they welcome him back with a standing ovation. You can also catch Manny and the Padres in Washington over the last weekend in April. The Orioles will make a return engagement to San Diego in July.

Baltimore Orioles: Would the Birds want Manny Machado?

Former Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman/SS Manny Machado has reportedly been offered a contract by the Chicago White Sox Worth $250 million. This over eight years. Give or take, that’s approximately $31 million per year for eight seasons. To a simpleton such as myself, that sounds like a no-brainer.

But as we all know, that’s far off from the 10 years, $350-$400 million contract that Machado craves. However here’s an interesting question: would the Orioles even want Machado? The reasons for having him on your team are obvious. But the argument against it…?

In looking at Manny’s actions and comments since leaving the Orioles, it strikes me what a great job Buck Showalter did in reigning him in. You never saw Manny say something along the lines of I’m not Johnny Hustle, or anything like that. That isn’t to say that he didn’t have his moments – because he most certainly did. But for the most part, he was fairly subdued in terms of some of his darker tendencies.

Whether or not that would continue to be the case or not would remain to be seen. Manny’s been gone from the Birds since July. And obviously when he went to L.A. he was allowed to express himself a bit more freely. Would he feel strange about coming back to a place where he might be expected to conform?

Obviously whether or not Brandon Hyde would want to reign Manny in the way Buck did is another story. Whether or not he would have the clout or presence to do so would remain to be seen. But there’s another angle to this as well. The Orioles be Orioles fans like their players to be members of the community, and in effect institutions. Is Manny, and his selling of his talents to the highest bidder, what they want?

End of the day, Manny isn’t on the Orioles’ radar. Not because of anything I said above. But because of the fact that the franchise is rebuilding. He doesn’t fit into their future. The Orioles are trying to find a new Manny Machado.

Baltimore Orioles: The case against Manny Machado

Baltimore Orioles fans are well-versed in Manny Machado. Both good and bad. The good is obvious. The bad has to do with attitudinal issues, such as Machado’s comment while he was with Los Angeles about “not being Johnny Hustle.” The fact that comments as such didn’t occur more often while he was in Baltimore is quite frankly a testament to Buck Showalter and his management style.

However quite frankly, the Orioles would be stupid to consider bringing Machado back – UNLESS it were on a 1-2 year contract, enabling them to trade him at the deadline one year. Or after the season. But odds are Machado isn’t looking for a deal like that. He’s looking for a long-term deal, and odds are he’ll get it.

But why would the Orioles be stupid to bring back a player like Machado? The answer is because that would run contrary to the current plan. The Orioles are building a team from the bottom up. If you start bringing in high-priced free agents, you’re moving away from that pathway.

As I’ve said previously, Machado is a piece you bring in if you’re one guy away from winning a title. The Orioles need to trust the process and stay the course. And I suspect that’s what they’ll do.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Manny Machado’s choice down to three?

I hope that Baltimore Orioles fans are following the Manny Machado saga. The former Orioles’ third baseman and shortstop visited New York (Yankees) on Wednesday, and Philadelphia yesterday. Rumors are that the Chicago White Sox are also in the mix.

Obviously if you’re an Orioles fan, you’re hoping that he lands in Philadelphia. To his credit, he stopped on the street there and took a selfie with a construction worker. Already endearing himself to the fan base?!

Conventional wisdom however says that he plays in Yankee pinstripes. Once New York gets involved, it’s usually a done deal. But time will tell.

It’s also interesting that the ChiSox appear to be involved. In New York or even Philly, Machado would be seem as sealing the deal from the perspective of winning a title. I suspect that if he were to sign with the ChiSox, that franchise would still be several years away. For their sake, you have to hope that they aren’t allowing themselves to be played.

But the good news is that there’s nary a rumor of the Orioles being involved. Why is that a good thing? Because signing (or re-signing) a player like Machado would derail the rebuilding process. The Orioles are hoping to re-grow players to replace him. Not spend unnecessary money to get him back.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Michael meeting with New York this week

There’s not much drama with what the Baltimore Orioles are doing today. Brandon Hyde is being introduced as the team’s new manager at noon today. All that’s in doubt is what he’ll say to the media. One way or the other I would expect him to be gracious.

One name neither he nor GM Mike Elias will have hanging over their heads is Manny Machado. However we find Manny in the news this week, as he’s expected to visit the New York Yankees. Yeah, every Orioles’ fan’s seeming nightmare.

Honestly I’m surprised by this. New York seemed to make it fairly clear that they didn’t want a guy who readily admits he doesn’t always hustle. Now suddenly they want to talk contract terms?

I suspect that they see a slowly-developing market, and think they might be able to get Machado on a steal. What’s unclear is whether or not this is more of a contract talk, or a meet/and-greet. Given the proximity to Christmas and New Years, I think it might be the latter.

Time will tell, but the Orioles can’t let Manny’s schedule distract from what they’re doing. Today is a big day in Birdland. The O’s are hoping that they’ve found the guy to get them “off their Hyde’s” (yes, you read that right!) and out of the doldrums. And eventually back to the promise land.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado meeting with New York this week

There’s not much drama with what the Baltimore Orioles are doing today. Brandon Hyde is being introduced as the team’s new manager at noon today. All that’s in doubt is what he’ll say to the media. One way or the other I would expect him to be gracious.

One name neither he nor GM Mike Elias will have hanging over their heads is Manny Machado. However we find Manny in the news this week, as he’s expected to visit the New York Yankees. Yeah, every Orioles’ fan’s seeming nightmare.

Honestly I’m surprised by this. New York seemed to make it fairly clear that they didn’t want a guy who readily admits he doesn’t always hustle. Now suddenly they want to talk contract terms?

I suspect that they see a slowly-developing market, and think they might be able to get Machado on a steal. What’s unclear is whether or not this is more of a contract talk, or a meet/and-greet. Given the proximity to Christmas and New Years, I think it might be the latter.

Time will tell, but the Orioles can’t let Manny’s schedule distract from what they’re doing. Today is a big day in Birdland. The O’s are hoping that they’ve found the guy to get them “off their Hyde’s” (yes, you read that right!) and out of the doldrums. And eventually back to the promise land.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado is hurting his case

Former Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado has decided to clarify some of the comments he made last month during the MLB playoffs (all quotes courtesy of ESPN):

When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn’t come across how I meant it,” Machado told MLB.com, which published the interview Wednesday. “For me, I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.

Machado went on and furthered his commentary:

But I know how I said it and how that came across, and it’s something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have.

These quotes of course refer to Machado admitting that he’s “not Johnny Hustle” during the playoffs last month. That was something that came up from time to time when he was with the Orioles. However it’s a topic that Machado himself brought up last month. And he’s now personally re-opened the discussion.

Here’s one thing that people across the board (Manny Machado or otherwise) don’t get; we have a 24-hour news cycle now. We look at that perhaps not necessarily as a bad thing, but certainly as a factor that’s usually negative. But people such as Manny Machado need to use it to their advantage.

He said something that was fairly stupid last month. But the fact is that regardless of how stupid of an act you commit or comment you make, just wait it out and someone else will screw up worse and suddenly they’re the topic at hand. In general I feel that it’s really a shame that we live in a society where people are literally held accountable for every gaffe or slip-up they make. I know I’ve had moments where I’ve felt bitter about having my feet held to the coals because of something I’ve said or written that felt minor but which blew up.

That’s unfortunately the society in which we live now. Again, I feel it’s unfortunate; and I say that because human beings are flawed. We make mistakes by nature. Sure if there’s a largesse pattern of verbal abuse or mishaps perhaps someone should think twice about what they’re doing. But people are going to make mistakes; society shouldn’t be waiting in the wings at all times to “hold them accountable.”

But again, Machado and others need to use that to their advantage. He didn’t make a mistake that offended a group or a person. He made a mistake which could cost him money – and certainly reputation. But by bringing it up again, he’s re-opening the wound. And again, we live in a society that’s waiting to pounce on people. The story of him admitting he didn’t hustle was old news. It was over and done.

Instead, now people are talkin about it again. And just in time for the winter meetings at that. When you say or do something that starts to snowball as such, ride it out – seriously. There’s no need to further clarify or to try to explain your point. Just ride it out, because at some point in the near future someone else will screw up worse. And then they’ll be in the spotlight.

Manny Machado potentially cost himself money by making that comment to begin with. But by re-opening the wound, he may have done so again. And as I said, the winter meetings aren’t far off.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado caught sign-stealing?

Former Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman and shortstop Manny Machado is being charged publicly with sign-stealing. And in the World Series at that. This according to Boston pitching coach Dana LeVangie.

According to LeVangie, Machado was touching his helmet while on second base with his right or left hand, among other things. LeVangie said that he wanted to go to the mound, but Boston was able to get a strikeout in the process. Basically he stayed in the dugout because he didn’t want to disrupt momentum.

My recommendation to the Boston Red Sox would be to simply hit Machado with a pitch if they feel he was stealing signs. That’s how the unwritten codes of the game work. You think someone’s stealing your signs, you throw at them. And Boston’s proven that they don’t forget – ever.

Would they hit Machado in a World Series game? Tough to say. But if they don’t, they’ll get to him whenever they see him in the future. Again, that’s just how the unwritten codes of the game work.

What isn’t supposed to happen is calling teams out in the media. That’s apparently what Boston’s doing, of which I’m not a fan. Take care of these types of things on the field. Leave it out of the public eye.

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