Manny Machado calls out the Orioles: ‘They didn’t show me a little bit of love’

Star infielder Manny Machado is of course fresh off signing a $300 million deal with the Padres, which surprised pretty much every outside observer. Over at SI, Stephanie Apstein has a story on what went into Machado’s decision to ink with San Diego

Leading up to his free agency was the July 18, 2018, trade that sent Machado from the Orioles to the Dodgers in exchange for a package of five players. Machado wound up helping the Dodgers advance to the World Series for a second consecutive year before he hit the market. All the while, his exit from Baltimore seemed to sting. Here’s one revealing excerpt from Apstein’s piece: 

He keeps a careful tally of signs of respect and disrespect, although he insists they do not motivate him. Still, he glows when he discusses the presentations teams made, the dinners to which executives invited him, the private jets that ferried him to meetings. He saw the July trade that sent him from Baltimore to Los Angeles as a referendum on who wanted him.

“The Dodgers last year, they showed me some love,” he says. “The Orioles drafted me. I did a lot for that community, I did a lot for the state, and they didn’t show me a little bit of love. It is what it is. But going over to L.A., L.A. giving up a lot of prospects for me, that kind of shows you what I meant to them, which is amazing.”

To be a professional athlete is to have at least some level of ego. Self-confidence is a necessary attribute, and self-confidence necessarily bleeds over into off-the-field matters. Anything that works against that self-investment — that ego — is fodder for motivation, or at least score-keeping. In this regard, Machado is probably no different from most other high-level performers. Rarely, though, is the perceived disrespect put in such plain terms. 

The Orioles did indeed draft Machado with the third overall pick in 2010. He then spent part of three seasons in the Orioles’ system before making his big-league debut in August 2012. So that’s more than eight years as an Oriole at the time of the trade with the Dodgers. Given Machado’s youth, that’s a big chunk of his life and pretty much all of his adult life. That the Orioles were never considered likely to re-sign Machado and conducted themselves as such probably stuck with Machado. And thus he has some unsparing things to say about them, even after moving on and signing the biggest free agent contract in MLB history.

Categories: National Sports

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