Results tagged ‘ Manny Machado ’

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.

Baltimore Orioles: Former Birds impact Fall Classic

Albeit in absentia, the Baltimore Orioles are having an impact in the 2018 World Series. After one game, that is. Steve Pearce had a walk and a run scored last night for Bostonand Manny Machado had three RBI for Los Angeles. Boston defeated the L.A. Dodgers 8-4 and lead 1-0 in the Fall Classic,

I suspect that Orioles fans are following Machado’s progress more so than they are that of Pearce. That’s probably due in part because they don’t want to see a division rival win the World Series. But Machado was obviously more of a factor for the Orioles than Pearce was.

But don’t sell Steve Pearce or his time with the Orioles short. He was a very key member of the 2014 AL East Champions team. He was always clutch in the utility role, and when Chris Davis was suspended for PED use he immediately filled in as the starting first baseman – a role he filled for Boston last night in game one of the World Series.

Orioles fans also saw some familiarity in the field last night with Manny Machado making a few incredibly plays to either start double-plays or to throw runners out at first base. As deadly as Manny can be with the bat, his best stuff has always been in the field. Somehow I don’t see that changing, regardless of where he signs next season.

Make not mistake that both Manny Machado and Steve Pearce represent what will always be a special time for Orioles baseball. Was everything perfect from 2012-2016? Of course not. The abrupt end to that era represents that fact. But it was the first time that an entire generation of Orioles fans got to see their team as a winner. Thus it’s fitting that at least one guy from those times will call himself a world champion when all’s said and done this year.

Baltimore Orioles: Hue on on the fall classic

The Buck Showalter era Baltimore Orioles will be represented in the 2018 World Series. Manny Machado plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers now – after being traded there in July by the O’s. And Steve Pearce plays for the Boston Red Sox.

Most Orioles fans aren’t thrilled that Boston’s back in the fall classic. However my hope is that they’d be happy for Steve Pearce. He was a key member of the 2014 AL East Champion team, as well as other teams before that. He’s a gamer, and he’s seemingly played on winning teams wherever he’s been.

Pearce will of course face off with Machado, his former teammate. Regardless of how things ended and the politics behind the ending, Orioles’ fans should look at the Showalter era with pride. And the fact that two former members of the team from that era are now competing for a world title pays homage to those times. Needless to say, they were special days in Baltimore.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado vs. Jonathan Schoop

As I said last week, the likes of Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop being in the post-season seemingly allow the best era in recent Baltimore Orioles’ history to live on. Albeit in absentia in a sense. So on that basis, Orioles fans are in for a treat.

Machado’s Los Angeles Dodgers and Schoop’s Milwaukee Brewers are set to square off in the National League Championship Series. One of those two will obviously get the opportunity to go into uncharted waters, and advance to the World Series. Will it be the Dodgers, who by default are always going to be a part of the national discussion of baseball? Or the blue collar Brew Crew, from the blue collar town of Milwaukee?

I use that term because Milwaukee is a lot like Baltimore in a sense. However that aside, Machado’s certainly had an easier time since leaving the O’s than Schoop has. Machado’s hit .273 with 13 homers as a Dodger. Schoop’s hit .202 with four homers. In some instances he’s been used in essence as a bench player and/or pinch hitter.

That aside, Schoop and Machado were very close friends with the Orioles. We all remember Schoop leaving his vacation and driving to Manny’s house to see him off after having been traded. So I’m sure that both will want to beat the other one, however both would be happy for the other if he wins.

My hope is that Orioles fans don’t follow this series thinking that it’s a shame the Orioles couldn’t keep those players. Be happy for them, and know that at the very least the O’s got something back for them. May the best former Oriole win!

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado, and gamesmanship out west

Baltimore Orioles fans can look across the MLB playoffs and find their former stars in the playoffs. Perhaps most poignantly, Manny Machado is in the NLDS with the LA Dodgers. They lead Nick Markakis and the Atlanta Braves in their series 2-0 after last night’s 3-0 win at Chavez Ravine.

Last night’s game featured Machado smacking a two-run homer. There are some Orioles fans who’ll see that and feel somewhat bitter. I take the opposite approach. We’ve talked so much this week about an end to an era in Birdland and so forth. And there’s no doubt that’s truly the case. However as I said above, when you look across the MLB playoffs, there are former Orioles wherever you look.

In my view, fans should see that as the Buck Showalter era living on in absentia in a sense. Odds are that a former Oriole’s going to win a championship this year. Probably a former 2018 Oriole. Again, some see that and feel bitter. I would look at it from a different perspective.

That LA Dodgers game last night also featured some Showalter-like gamesmanship from LAD manager Dave Roberts. In the top of the ninth with Los Angeles winning 3-0 (the eventual final score), Roberts sent starter Clayton Kershaw back out to the mound to pitch the ninth. Kershaw had pitched a masterful game, but as little as we see complete games in the regular season, they’re even more rare in the post-season.

Kershaw warmed up, and Atlanta scrambled and sent up a pinch hitter. As soon as the pinch hitter was announced, Roberts came out and lifted Kershaw for a reliever. That move was all about trying to get Atlanta to burn a pinch hitter, and it worked. I can’t say I ever recall Buck doing that specifically, but somehow it seems like something he would do.

Baltimore Orioles: Did Manny Machado hoodwink the Birds?

There’ll never come a time when I won’t believe that the beginnings of this year’s problems with the Baltimore Orioles didn’t come when they caved to Manny Machado‘s demands to play shortstop. This occurred during the winter meetings last year; Machado basically told Buck Showalter and company that he didn’t want to guard the hot corner any longer. And for one reason or another, the Orioles acquiesced to his demand.

I said at the time that was misguided, and I stand by that. I’m not sure what went into the decision to allow Manny to choose his position or who had the final say, but that’s what happened. If that was a message to Manny that the Orioles wanted to play ball and keep him, it certainly didn’t work – although the way the season has played out had a role in that also.

Now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Machado is…playing third base regularly. Uh, excuse me?! Los Angeles’ regular third baseman, Justin Turner, is out with an injury. So in essence Machado’s just temporarily filling the role. However manager Dave Roberts made it clear that Manny kind of jumped at the chance to help (quote courtesy of Andy McCullough, L.A. Times):

He was traded here to be a shortstop, and we understand that. But the conversation that I’ve had with Manny last night was easy, and one that I anticipated, where he wanted to do whatever it was to help the ballclub, and help us win. I know he sees himself as a shortstop, as do we. But in this time, where Justin’s on the DL, it makes a lot of sense to have him play third.

In my view, that hardly sounds like the Manny Machado who informed the Orioles that he wanted to play shortstop instead of third. Granted when your team’s in a bind you try to do what you can to fill in. But here’s the flip side; Tim Beckham was injured for much of the first half, and he’s who replaced Machado at third base. Was there ever talk of Machado filling in at third with the Orioles?

It’s possible that Buck Showalter never approached him about it. It’s also possible that if he didn’t approach him about it, that was done because Buck had given Manny his word about playing shortstop. However all of that is provided that you aren’t needed elsewhere.

I’m not suggesting that Machado lollygagged through his time in Baltimore, or that he treated the Orioles overall like they didn’t matter. I’m just saying that he seemed to have no problem making the switch in L.A. now that he’s there. But literally given the exact same circumstances, that didn’t happen in Baltimore – for one reason or the other.

Baltimore Orioles have to move on from Manny Machado

The Manny Machado-less Baltimore Orioles are in Toronto this evening to open up the second half of the season with a three-game set on the road against their AL East rivals. I do find it interesting that we still call the post-All Star break the second half. The Birds have already played 97 games, which is 16 more than halfway through the season. But I digress.

This has been a tough week for the Orioles, and I’m not talking personally per se. Machado had a lot of friends in the clubhouse, all of whom are sad to see him go. But the very public departure and the lead up to said departure of a player wears on a team. The trade discussions were already hot as it was, but the fire really got hot when Machado was lifted from Sunday’s game against Texas. While the official reason was a wet field in the wake of a rain delay (which in theory was true), we obviously knew something was up.

However all of that needs to be in the past now. It goes without saying that the Orioles aren’t in contention, nor could they potentially play their way back into contention. But the season’s still on. There in fact does appear to be a new direction in which the franchise is heading, and that has to begin tonight. Granted, the roster might well look different in a week. However the players that remain now, tomorrow, and onward need to put this out of their minds and just play ball.

In effect, I’m saying that the term I used in the first sentence (the Manny Machado-less Orioles) isn’t one that should really be used. They aren’t the Machado-less Orioles, nor will they be the Britton-less Orioles or the Jones-less Orioles. They’re the Orioles. If players keep in their minds that this player or that one is now gone and question how they’re going to go on as a team (in the manner that some fans do), things will go from bad to worse.

The Orioles will have to make a roster move prior to this evening’s game, for the mere reason that they’ll need to fill Machado’s slot on the roster. It’s unclear who will be coming up, but the Orioles will announce something before the game. Incidentally, while the Birds do open the second half on the road, it’s really just a one-series trip. Monday they’ll be back at Camden Yards for a homestand that includes Boston and Tampa.

The series at Rogers Center opens this evening. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Sam Gaviglio. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado heads off into the sunset

As I was heading into a movie theater yesterday evening official word came that the Baltimore Orioles had traded Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’ll be their starting shortstop tomorrow evening when they resume their season with a three-game set in Milwaukee. For what it’s worth, Los Angeles will then head to the east coast for a three-game set starting Monday in Philadelphia. So Orioles fans could make the trek up there if they wanted to see Manny one final time. Somehow I suspect that the reception from the phans up there won’t be quite as rosy as it was when he visited as an Oriole and they thought he might be traded there.

However that aside, I do think that Orioles fans have a reason for some optimism on a day where one might feel apt to feel sorrowful. First off, everyone wishes that they could have kept Machado. Speaking for myself, I feel that I grew up as a writer during the time when he was with the Orioles. And certainly there’s a connection with fans, seeing that Baltimore tends to embrace it’s athletes as it’s own.

But my hope is that fans won’t look so much as the not running out ground balls, the infamous bat toss against Oakland, or the act of forcing the team to move him to shortstop. Consequently, I also hope that fans don’t remember his departure simply because he couldn’t re-sign here and the team needed to deconstruct and rebuild. My hope is that fans never forget the fact that his time in an Orioles’ uniform coincided with a surprise return to glory for the Birds. It’s the same as ending any other relationship in life, be it due to breakup, divorce, or death; remember the good times.

The real reason however that fans should be optimistic is due to the fact that the Orioles got five prospects in return for Machado: Yusniel Diaz (OF), Breyvic Valera (IF), Rylan Bannon (IF), Dean Kremer (RHP), and Zach Pop (RHP). As I wrote yesterday, Diaz is the centerpiece of the trade from the Orioles’ perspective, and he very well could slide into the right field role in the future. He was assigned to double-A Bowie, along with Bannon, Kremer, and Pop. Valera was optioned to triple-A Norfolk. There was no money or international signing bonus slots that changed hands. It was a straight up 5-for-1 swap.

Keep in mind folks, these guys are all prospects. It’s tough to say how any of them turns out. It sounds like Diaz, who hit two homers in the future’s game on Sunday, could very well end up in the big leagues at some point in the future. He’s been called “a stud” by several scouts. But if one or two of the other guys ends up in the big leagues somehow, at the end of the day it’ll look like a good trade. Needless to say however, the Orioles got great value for Machado. At one point fans were writing into this site and tweeting at me saying that if all they could get was a low A prospect, they should take that. They got a lot more than that.

Dan Duquette also addressed the local media yesterday after the trade became official, saying all of the pertinent things such as it was hard to part with Manny and so forth. However he also committed the franchise to a rebuild in a sense (all quotes courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

We’re going to take a look at trading the veteran players. Our veteran players have done a nice job for us, but the ones that are nearing free agency, I think we need to evaluate our club going forward and at this time of year, the competitors are looking for the veteran players who have been seasoned in pennant races, as have our players. And we’re going to look to maximize that opportunity on the market and try to find as many good, young players as we can to deepen our farm system.

In conjunction with that, we’re also going to be making significant investments this offseason in technology and analytics. We’re going to become more active on the international market and invest in our facilities and strengthen our overall baseball operation. That’s part of a plan that we have to have to get the Orioles back to competitiveness. But this is just the first step in a new direction.

Duquette was also asked if there was a chance that the rebuilding process might get shorter based on the moves the Orioles could potentially make in the coming weeks:

Well, we hope so. It’s a growing process, but the clubs that have done it recently have given us an instructive road map in what to follow and I think we have a good idea of what it takes to be consistently good. The thing about the American League East is it identifies your strength and it also identifies your weakness. We have identified a number of weaknesses we need to shore up as we move forward to have a competitive club. Certainly to compete against the really strong clubs in the American League East.

Duquette also talks like a guy who’s going to be around longer than just this year. That’s very much up in the air, as is the Orioles’ ownership situation. But Duquette went on to say that he wants to remain here:

Well, I think everybody understands the changes that we need to make and Orioles fans should know how deeply committed we are to that plan of making these important adjustments. And like I said before, my heart is in Baltimore and I’d like to make the Orioles into a top contending organization again. Like I said, today’s a new direction for the organization. I’m glad to be helping the club go in that direction.

Maybe he has a handshake agreement with John and Lou Angelos to stay with the club. Maybe he’s just being coy or saying the right thing. Who knows? All we can say for sure is that regardless of who manages the team and/or acts as the GM after this year, the organization appears committed to a rebuild along with a commitment to analytics among other things. This is a good start, and it sounds like more changes are coming down the pike. And again, that should give fans a reason for optimism.

Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado potentially to head west today

Let the official record show that Manny Machado started and played in last night’s MLB All-Star Game as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. This of course amid speculation that Machado is on his way out of Baltimore, the suitor du jour being the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yesterday I wrote that he appeared earmarked for Philadelphia – because that’s what the tea leaves were saying at the time. But when people have asked me since the beginning of the season, I’ve always said I thought he’d end up in Dodger Blue. Call it a hunch.

Machado went 0-for-2 in the game at the plate before being lifted. The American League ended up winning 8-6, in an All-Star Game that set a record with ten homers. There were also 25 strikeouts in the game. Both of those numbers are largely indicative of where the game is and where it’s continually going right now. Incidentally, the game also went extra innings, finishing just before midnight after ten innings.

It’s been reported that Los Angeles Dodger prospects Yusniel DiazErrol Robinson, and possibly others are in play to be coming back to the Orioles. Diaz specifically has been referred to as an absolute stud by numerous people. He was in D.C. on Sunday playing in the future’s game, and he smacked two home runs.

Diaz is also a right fielder, which is a position that the Orioles have struggled to fill since Markakis departed. Robinson is an infielder who’s currently in single-A, but is showing some promise. Not that it matters, but he’s also a Maryland native. Maybe that vouches for something.

The fan reaction on twitter among other media is one of sorrow. And I suppose I understand that to a certain degree. Nobody wants to part with a talent like Manny Machado. But fans should also keep in mind that it sounds like the Orioles are having the opportunity to hand-pick from Los Angeles’ farm system. This trade could very easily work out well for the Orioles down the road.

I think that the way you have to look at it is that Baltimore (perhaps more so than any other city) really embraces it’s athletes. That’s why it’s so tough to see Machado go, because he has rapport with the fans and the city. But he’s not “walking,” per se. The Birds are getting something – a lot, actually – back for him. The next generation of Baltimore stars to be embraced may well come in this deal.

Diaz appears to be the centerpiece of the deal from the Orioles’ perspective, but I’ve heard that as many as five prospects total may head to the Orioles. If that’s true, they will have all but gutted Los Angeles’ farm system. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

What’s also unclear is whether or not any of the players would make an impact at the big league level right away. Diaz might have a shot at being brought up immediately, but odds are the rest of the players will need more seasoning – perhaps even Diaz. But ultimately time will tell.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Manny Machado as good as gone?

Manny Machado will be the starting shortstop for the American League in tonight’s All-Star game, representing the Baltimore Orioles. However as everyone knows, that’s far from the big story line right now involving Machado. It appears that come Friday night, Manny Machado will be wearing a different uniform than the orange and black.

It was reported yesterday that the Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies had a “handshake deal” to send Machado to Philadelphia. Some reporters (mainly Philadelphia reporters) even said that the deal would become official on Wednesday. The Orioles have refuted that claim, saying that they were close to a deal (not naming any team specifically with whom they were close), but that nothing had been agreed upon.

I’m willing to believe that there probably is a handshake agreement in place. I’m also willing to believe that someone on the Philadelphia side leaked it out. And if that’s true, it’s probably to the detriment of that team. Because it would stand to reason that other suitors would then have the option of upping their offer. Are we to believe that the Orioles wouldn’t go back on said handshake agreement if they could better their team even more?

But ultimately this is just posturing. Many fans are frustrated because of the risk for injury and so forth. It goes without saying that if Machado were to rip up his ACL in the all-star game tonight, any potential deal would be off. Would that be the Orioles’ luck? Probably. But think about it…how many players sustain serious injuries in the all-star game?

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