LOUISVILLE,, Ky. (WDRB) -- Set your calendar for Aug. 19-21.
Clear your schedule. Prepare for a road trip. Grab your autograph book.
Those are the three days baseball’s $300 million man is coming to Cincinnati.
Who is baseball’s $300 million man?
It’s not Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Madison Bumgarner or somebody who has actually won a World Series.
It’s not Mike Trout, Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Judge or somebody who actually stirs a juicy out-of-season baseball conversation.
It’s Manny Machado, who reportedly agreed to a $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
The same Machado who played in the World Series with the Dodgers last season, dogged it on the bases and said that being “Johnny Hustle” wasn’t his cup of tea.
Apparently, if you look at the fine print, you have to throw in a few extra million for the team, even if it is reportedly the largest free-agent deal in American sports history.
I added the quotation marks around “Johnny Hustle,” because those were Machado’s words, not mine.
Now that I think about it, isn’t everybody on a big-league roster supposed to be Johnny Hustle?
Or at least be Charlie Hustle, which was the sales name Pete Rose gave himself. Rose worked the Charlie Hustle thing effectively when he wanted to become baseball’s first $100,000 singles hitter .
(Did I say $100,000 singles hitter? At $30 million per season, Machado is scheduled to earn roughly $160,000 per hit in San Diego this season.)
It’s also the same Machado who hit .182 with no extra base hits while losing in the only World Series of his career with the Dodgers last fall.
During six seasons with Baltimore, Machado made it to the Wild Card game once, the Division Series once and the League Championship series zero times.
His career postseason record is 99 plate appearances, 14 extra base hits, .213 batting average and .268 on-base percentage
I know your response: As Jeremy Shelton, one of my fan club members on Twitter, said in a response to one my tweets:
How many World Series did Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr. and Tony Gwynn win?
Added Shelton: Your point?
Totally agree. Joe Crede, Scott Brosius, Mike Moustakas and several others were hardly the feared hitters and solid third basemen that Machado has been, but they all have World Series rings.
That’s the point.
Baseball isn’t basketball. Machado won’t make you a winner the way LeBron James or Kevin Durant can make you a winner in the NBA.
He’s one of 25. I’m not picking the Padres to overtake the Dodgers in the National League West.
Machado is a terrific baseball player, a guy who can hit for average or power. He’s a solid runner. He’s got the arm of a shortstop. There aren’t many holes in his glove.
He won’t turn 27 until July, which means his best seasons should be 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He waited for free agency and pounced. Good for him. Capitalism at its finest.
But his 10-year contract has some of the warning signs of the 10-year deal that the Angels gave Albert Pujols or (better comparison) the Rangers gave Alex Rodriguez, and we know how those commitments worked.
Then there is the entire Johnny Hustle thing.
I’ll leave you with this:
Are you going to drop everything to drive to Cincinnati to see baseball’s $300 million man on Aug. 19-21?
Didn’t think so.
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