The Pop Flies and Grounders brain trust has been discussing the idea of posting some blogs on the site for a while, and in true PFG fashion, waited at least 2 weeks before doing anything about it, but here we are.
No better way to start this foray into blogging than my favorite subject: the inevitability of my team (the O’s) losing its best player (Manny Machado) to my most hated rival (the Yankees). A foregone conclusion, right? Not so fast (h/t Lee Corso). There is one thing more important to Yankee fans than any other: above winning, above spending silly amounts of money, even above their daily Derek Jeter worship. That is “the Yankee Way” and who EARNS their pinstripes. I’m sure no one outside of me, my brother, and the city of Baltimore caught last night’s Orioles game, but there were a couple developments in the game which should give Yankee fans some pause.
The first play came in the 5th inning on a foul pop-up near the Indians dugout where Machado picked up the ball late but was able to make a tough juggling catch right up against the railing. Just another day at the office for the best defensive third baseman since Brooks Robinson. The concern in this play for Yankee fans and management should be obvious though. Foul pop-up near the fence, close game, and he didn’t dive over the railing. We all know a true Yankee would take 2 extra steps after the catch and dive headlong over that railing. I just don’t know if Machado would ever be willing to unnecessarily risk injury by diving into the stands like that. Certainly not the Yankee Way.
Two innings later, already 3 for 3 on the night with 2 HRs, Machado sent an 0-2, Bryan Shaw pitch deep into right field for what appeared to be his 3rd homer of the game. It stayed in the park and eluded the clueless Lonnie Chisenhall in right field to go off the fence for a double. The trouble with this play could be seen in the replay though. Machado stood and watched once he hit it, then jogged a few steps, and only kicked it into gear when he realized it had gone off the fence. He was never going to make it to third base on the play, made it safely into second, and ended up scoring the eventual winning run on the next pitch anyway, but that’s not what matters here! He pimped it out of the box and the is DEFINITELY not the Yankee Way, why would they want that type of player.
The history of Yankees players is divided into 2 groups: those that earned their pinstripes (i.e. Jeter, Munson, and Mantle) and those that didn’t earn their pinstripes (i.e. Pavano, Vazquez, and Mel Hall). The most famous in the latter group is almost certainly Alex Rodriguez. He may have unselfishly changed positions, won 2 MVPs and hit 351 Yankee HRs, and pretty much single handedly won them a World Series, but any yankee fan can tell you he was never a true Yankee. Who did Manny Machado get compared to from the day he was drafted? Yankee fans, do you really want another Alex Rodriguez who will join the team in the middle of his prime, give you 12 great years, win you a World Series, but never earn his pinstripes. Of course not. Machado will have to just put his tail between his legs and go spend the rest of his sorry-ass Hall of Fame career with the Orioles.