Manager Buck Showalter would like to keep the Manny Machado hype at a reasonable level. You can tell by the tone of his voice and the measured responses, how he points out the small number of games that the kid has played and how a new one is coming up tomorrow.
Machado isn’t make it easy on Showalter.
“He had a nice night, put a couple good swings on some breaking balls that were left out over the plate,” Showalter said after Machado hit two home runs to lift the Orioles to a 7-1 victory over the Royals.
“I’m happy for him. It’s a good night for him and it impacted the game a lot, obviously. I thought Q’s (Omar Quintanilla’s) home run was as big as any of them. I thought Miguel (Gonzalez) pitched real well. The catch Jonesy (Adam Jones) made in center is one of those where you just kind of go, ‘Really?’ That ball was sailing and knuckling away from him.
“I’m not trying to change the subject. It’s one of those nights that you’re really honored and lucky just to watch. I look at it more from a city of Baltimore standpoint. He’ll put it behind him and realize there’s another challenge tomorrow.”
Showalter didn’t notice that Machado was being coaxed out of the dugout for a curtain call because he was leaning on the dugout railing.
“That was behind me and something I didn’t deal with,” he said.
“I like him doing something that requires the possibility of that. How’s that? I’m not nearly the old fuddy-duddy people may think I am. I can take in a moment, but also, it’s like home runs and whatever. The reactions. Pitchers striking people out. It’s really what’s important to the players and the fans. How I feel about it and how some of us were raised, that’s fine. But it’s about the players and the fans.
“I was more concerned about, Jonesy and Robert (Andino) were running by me with the shaving cream and I just said, ‘Easy now.’”
Machado isn’t here for the hype. He’s here to help the Orioles win, which he did tonight.
“We hope so,” Showalter said. “It’s two games. I’ve been here a couple years now and I see how things go up and down the pole. It’s going to happen when you have a good night like that. It’s human nature. I’m sure Jonesy went through it a little bit when he first got here in a trade, and Matt (Wieters) when he first got here and Nicky (Markakis). It’s part of the process. We have some people who will help him through it.”
Asked if he’s been waiting for Machado, Showalter replied, “I don’t look at it that way. I was waiting for Matt Wieters to do some of the things he’s doing. Nicky, all those guys. It’s two games. He’s off to a good start. He’s hit some mistakes and hit them well, which guys have to do up here. He’ll have the kitchen sink thrown at him and we’ll see how it goes. But so far, so good.”
On both long home runs, Machado dropped his bat, lowered his head and ran hard out of the box. He didn’t admire his work.
“I did see that,” Showalter said. “It’s the old thing my Dad said a long time ago: Act like you hit one before and by the grace of God you might hit one again. That was more about getting into the end zone.
“It was a good start for him. I was glad I was there to see it, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Machado wasn’t the only story tonight. Did anyone notice that Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run in a career-high eight innings?
Talk about being overshadowed.
“Miguel was sharp,” Showalter said. “(Wei-Yin) Chen got ambushed last night and he (Gonzalez) did some things to slow them down early and take them off the heater. It was a real sleeper outing. Matt did a good job with him, obviously.”