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SAN DIEGO – On the threshold of a personal milestone on the highway to the Hall of Fame, and in the thick of the initial MVP debate, Manny Machado says he wants to avoid talking about a topic: Manny Machado.
“We have a great team of guys here,” he says Dad‘third base. “I don’t want to talk about myself. All I want to do is play baseball and let it speak for me. Just baseball. ”
“So can we talk about playing?”
“Oh no. Then things go awry. It’s like a Jinx. If it’s after the game, it’s about something that happened in the game, it’s nice.”
Without amplification, Machado has never been better. The average for his acreage (.329), percentage of base (.401) and adjusted OPS (173) are at high career rates. He’s taking an extra base in 64% of his time, the best of his career, without ever getting out of the basics. He continues to improve his defense on the third base, partly because he plays seven feet deeper than he did seven years ago, allowing him to show off his extraordinary range and arm.
Machado recovers from his broken wrist while Fernando Tatis Jr. is recovering from a broken wrist while adding to his MVP argument. He finished four times in the top 10 in the MVP vote, but never won. Along with the initial blockade of six men who could dominate a post-season series, Machado is the main reason why the Padres have progressed without Tatis, and why San Diego has become an electric baseball town that understands why this team is good enough to win the franchise. the first World Series.
It’s as good as it gets now to appreciate Machado, especially as he approaches 1,500 hits, each taking his controversial past to the trash of an unaccompanied young adult. Machado will start this weekend with 1,494 hits, including 260 home runs.
Machado, who turns 30 on July 6, will become the 17th player to score 3,000 hits and 500 homers in half before the age of 30. Twelve of the 14 players in the Hall of Fame to reach those landmarks stored in Cooperstown. (Exceptions are Alex Rodriguez and Andruw Jones.) He may join two other venues when they are eligible: Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera.
Machado’s career figures are the highest in Cal Ripken Jr. before the age of 30, and Machado has small advantages in doubles (291-285), home (260-217), batting average (.282-.272) and OPS (.831– .806). In a more modern context, Machado is the hit leader of a 1992-born star team of players, including MVP winners Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts and Kris Bryant; and MVP runners-up Aaron Judge and José Ramírez.
“The most spectacular thing about Manny is that he publishes every day,” says Eric Hosmer Padres first baseman. “I don’t think there’s enough appreciation for guys to play with things. And to see him play with a lot of things that have gotten mixed up over the years is something that team members appreciate, but a lot of people may not know it. ”
Machado has played in 96% of San Diego’s games since signing a 10-year, $ 300 million contract with Padres before the 2019 season. He will be able to resign from his contract next season, as he will turn 31 with five years and $ 150 million left for the deal. He still lives in Miami.
“That’s the house,” Machado says. “It always will be. There’s my family. I’m lucky. I have two great places to live: San Diego, and I always go home to Miami around November. ”
Without Tatis, they are Padres Machado’s team. He’s flourishing in the absence of a parabom superstar, who has yet to play more than 130 games in a season but has been hailed as “one of the faces of baseball” for his remarkable explosive game. Last September, at the time of Padres’ two-month fall, Machado shouted at Tatisi in the box, “It’s not about you!” and “Go Play Baseball,” after Tatis reacted angrily to a third strike. Tatis has yet to shake a bat this year because he broke his wrist. Sources in the group do not expect him to return until July due to a slow healing injury.
Two years ago, Machado then told Padre coach Wayne Kirby, “I’m ready. I’m ready to be the leader.”
“The team’s dinner in Milwaukee, the golf trip to Cincinnati … He’s always doing things like that with the team,” says Hosmer. “What sets him apart is that his behavior is very calm. You wouldn’t know if it’s a spring training session or a World Series 7 game. He’s always so calm. He just has that ease about him. she’s pretty, calm and wrapped up. ‘
For much of his career, Machado seemed to be controversial about kicking, kicking, throwing bats. Machado was sentenced to five games in 2014 for throwing a baton, four for charging a mound on the 16th and one for attacking a referee on the 19th. The slip to the second base was late on the 17th, injuring his left knee Red Sox Dustin Pedroia the second player, and late slips and Jesús Aguilar first base kick in the 18th NLCS against Milwaukee.
Brewers Outsider Christian Yelich called Machado after the incident with Aguilar, saying it was “a dirty game of a dirty player”. Yelich then told SI: “The boy right now showed the whole world his true colors … He has a history. Does it happen to him once? Is it an accident? Fourth or fifth time? It’s intentional. “
Such controversy has subsided. Machado is changing the story of who he is as a baseball player this year. At the age of 30 and reaching milestones, he has done well to stop talking about his game.
“It’s nice to see what it’s like to become,” he says Mets Manager Buck Showalter, its former director Baltimore. “More than a lot of common sense, he has a lot of imagination on the pitch. He is able to see a way to play a game, shoot a baseball weapon if necessary and be very accurate.
“One of the special things about Manny is that he is very free. We had to tie our knees to a Baltimore procedure because they were too loose. It’s the same with your shoulders and elbows. ‘
In a series of statements to San Diego this week, Showalter took a closer look at what his former player and Padres have become. After New York took the opening game of its 38th win (most of the league entered Friday), the Padres crushed the Mets 20-2 over the next two nights. Starting pitchers Yu Darvish and Sean Manaea made 14 innings, while the Mets gave them five hits and only one run in a row. (No shooting throws more innings than the Padres crew.) And Machado made four runs and pulled out three more hits, closer, and quietly, to 3,000.
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