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Glenn Clark: The Only Reasonable Interpretation Of Manny Machado's Comments Is ...

February 27, 2019
Oh, we're big mad, huh? 

In case you missed it (I know you didn't, but this is how these things are supposed to work), Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein, who also wrote the fascinating longform profile of Chris Davis last year, scored the first big one-on-one sit-down with former Orioles superstar Manny Machado since he signed his 10 year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres Feb. 21. 

There was a ton of interesting information throughout the story, but one paragraph in particular led to the near-unanimous bunching of our collective panties. 

"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."

Before I take anyone to task, I'll certainly be willing to say that whatever Machado was attempting to say, "they didn't show me a little bit of love" is a clunky way of trying to say it. It's confusing. It doesn't really mean anything. So deciphering why I don't think we should be this worked up does require a little bit of reason. 

But I feel like we're capable of exercising a little bit of reason, gang. 

The overwhelmingly most reasonable thing it can be assumed Machado was attempting to say was that he was frustrated the Orioles never really attempted to sign him long term. That's far more reasonable than trying to do the mental gymnastics required to think Machado was trashing his former teammates … or the fans … or Buck Showalter … or making some grand statement about how he was really important to Charles County but Charles County didn't have his back. 

It takes a lot of twisting to think anything like that would be more reasonable than Machado attempting to articulate something along the lines of, "I was the most important player in turning around a moribund franchise and was largely a good representative of the community who raised a lot of money for charity and gave that area a lot of reason for pride. I think I deserved to have the organization at least attempt to sign me long term at some point." 

Obviously, I'm putting words in Machado's mouth to some extent. But that's the only reasonable thing you can really take away from these comments. If tomorrow Machado were to tell reporters, "What I really meant was that Orioles fans are garbage and that city is terrible," I would happily burn this piece of internet to the ground and write significantly more words with more vitriol than a dork who tries to troll a movie on Rotten Tomatoes before it comes out in theaters. 

There's just no reasonable way for me to think that's what Machado was attempting to say. I'd have to be working with a guy named Tom at a company called Initech to be capable of jumping to such a conclusion. 

So I'm not bothered by anything Machado said. Based on the most logical way it reads, it's factually accurate. 

Now, we all know a bunch of additional things here. For example: 

A.) No, it wouldn't have made sense for the Orioles to spend $300 million on Machado this offseason after deciding to launch into a rebuild. But it would have made a ton of sense for the Orioles to try to get ahead of his free agency by giving him that type of extension in, say, 2015. They could have extended their window then. It's not Machado's job to be concerned about the Orioles' finances. It's reasonable that he would be bothered that the franchise he did so much for never showed real interest in wanting him around long term. 

B.) No, the Orioles shouldn't have offered a token "low ball" offer just in hopes that it would have appeased Machado. It wouldn't have. And if they had, it wouldn't have represented REAL interest in wanting him around long term. Perhaps the answer is just that the Orioles were never going to spend $300 million on ANY baseball player, period. That's plausible, and some fans would even agree with it. But again, I can't begrudge a player who came through the organization for being frustrated that they never really attempted to keep him around. 

C.) We also know the leadership structure in place in Baltimore likely had something to do with why the Orioles never really engaged in good-faith attempts to make the most talented player they've seen in decades an "Oriole for life." Throughout the last few years, we haven't known who had final say … or intermediate say … or secondary say … or first say … or any say at all, really. Those issues would obviously make it difficult for anyone to have been able to commit $300 million for a baseball player. Of course, if you're watching Chris Davis get silly money and you know in your heart of hearts you're a far better baseball player than Chris Davis -- even when he was actually Chris Davis -- I can get why that might be a weird feeling as well. 

D.) It's easy to say that Machado wouldn't have accepted a long-term deal even if the Orioles had tried to make the offer. That's possible. Obviously the closer he got to free agency, the dumber it would have been for his camp to negotiate with one team instead of negotiating with as many teams as possible. But I can't say with any level of confidence that if the Orioles had tried to extend Machado a few years before that they wouldn't have been able to keep him around long term. None of it changes the fact that they never did try. 

Look, I understand that part of this really has nothing at all to do with Machado. Some of this is just that things aren't really going that great for us since the breakup. Our team isn't going to be good for a while. There's no football to distract us for a while. We all had to go buy new recycling bins this week because ours blew all the way to the Indian Ocean. Even Duke losing didn't give us quite as much joy because Zion Williamson wasn't playing. Things just aren't going all that great for us. 

But we're acting a little crazy when it comes to Machado. We've gone out of our way to act like a 20-year-old insecure dude after a girl breaks up with him. "Yeah, well, she was crazy anyway … she wasn't even that hot … I can do way better than her … I never really wanted a real relationship anyway." 

I mean, obviously those things were true about all of MY breakups, but believe it or not, most other guys just make all of that stuff up. 

When Machado signed in San Diego, some of us tried to say insane things like, "Well, he could only get that money because he didn't sign with a REAL team," or, "Good luck, San Diego, you'll regret it," or whatever other crazy thing we could say to make ourselves feel better. 

Let's try to get over it, gang. It's a bummer that Manny Machado won't be an Oriole forever. It would have been really great. But let's not flip out every time one of our friends says, "Hey, I heard your ex talking about you." 

Especially when it's as mild and easy to understand as this. 

Follow Glenn Clark on Twitter @GlennClarkRadio

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox