Well, you could blow me over with a feather. All the while, I thought Manny Machado was a very, very good baseball player who was a cold-blooded mercenary, but all he was looking for was a little love.
Now that he has found his latest bit of love in the form of a 10-year, $300 million contract to play in San Diego, is Machado happy? Well, apparently not happy enough to avoid taking a backhanded swipe at the organization that helped nurture him and showed him how the game is supposed to be played.
"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."
Let's start with how Machado's mind works in terms of how much he meant to the Dodgers. True, Los Angeles did give up one high-end prospect, outfielder Yusniel Díaz, in the deal for Machado. The Dodgers originally paid a total of $31 million to acquire Díaz.
While I think pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop -- two others in the deal -- may prove to be solid, useful acquisitions for the Orioles' rebuild, Díaz is perhaps a possible star. But what about the Dodgers' lack of pursuit of Machado, the player they gave up all these prospects for? When it came time to really show Machado some love, the only sound out of Dodger Stadium was of crickets.
As for the Orioles, according to Machado, all they did was sign him out of high school – but no mention that they paid him more than $30 million between his signing bonus in 2010 and big league salaries.
wrote a piece on this topic
Feb. 27. He chose to explain away Machado's negative comments about the Orioles by writing that the infielder was simply upset that the club made no attempt to sign him to any sort of extension.
With all due respect to Glenn, the Orioles made a concerted effort to sign Machado to a long-term deal several years ago,
according to MLB insider Jon Heyman
, before backing away due to fears about Machado's knees holding up. Heyman said it's possible as little as $1 million annually separated Machado and the Orioles.
But the larger area where I disagree with Glenn is regarding the need for anyone to interpret and explain away what Machado says. It seems Machado is quite capable of speaking for himself -- and getting himself in trouble almost every time he opens his mouth.
His comments about not being "Johnny Hustle" were stupid. Remarkably, the comments didn't end up costing him out in the marketplace. Then again, it does only take one team -- and because of the type of player he is, more than one team ignored the comments he made to Ken Rosenthal last fall.
I always took up for Machado while he was an Oriole. And yet the more I observed how his actions sometimes put himself and his teammates in harm's way, the less desire I had to see the Orioles commit to him for a term nearing 10 years.
We'll never know if the Orioles might have taken another crack at bringing Machado back had the Chris Davis contract not gone south and had the team not taken a sudden downward spiral in late 2017 and all of 2018.
What we do know is that Manny is gone, $300 million richer. Personally, I hope he can grow up out West and be the full-time player who plays to the hilt and up to his capabilities.
I have my doubts, but we'll see. I do have one bit of advice for Machado as he exits our Baltimore vistas: If you want love from an area, perhaps you shouldn't signal so openly that you don't intend to be around after your contract expires.