WASHINGTON - Manny Machado had to squeeze past a crowd of reporters this afternoon to reach his locker and address his status for the final time. The session lasted close to three minutes and he was gone. Still representing the Orioles at the All-Star Game, still waiting to find out where he’s playing later this week.
Asked what he’s heard from the Orioles or his agent, a weary Machado replied, “Nothing, nothing.”
“I haven’t heard anything and I’m just worried about the game today and whatever happens moving forward will happen. There will be a time and place for everything.”
The place tonight is Nationals Park. The Orioles will hold a workout Thursday in Toronto before resuming their season the following night, but Machado isn’t expected to be on the roster.
The Dodgers are viewed as the favorites to acquire Machado, with the framework of a trade apparently in place that includes Double-A outfielder Yusniel Díaz. The Phillies appeared to have overtaken them yesterday, but the landscape keeps changing.
Machado isn’t dwelling on whether tonight marks his final game representing the Orioles. The media keeps poking at the topic and he keeps insisting that he’s enjoying the All-Star experience.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “Every time you put on the Oriole uniform it’s always a great blessing and you always want the opportunity to put that on. Just put it on, go play shortstop when I get my name announced. I know there’s going to be some Baltimore fans out there, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
A source confirmed earlier today that a trade should be finalized by the end of the week and it could occur on Wednesday, making tonight the last time Machado will be affiliated with the Orioles. No trip to Toronto.
“You know what? Honestly, I don’t even expect anything to be honest. I’m just not even trying to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’ll be there.”
Machado will be plopped down in the middle of a pennant race, which a Dodgers reporter pointed out to him this afternoon.
“Honestly, like I said before and I’m going to continue to say it, I’m not even worried about that,” Machado said. “I’m not worried about what’s going to happen later. I’m worried about today and that’s the only way you can handle stuff.”
At least Machado will be able to escape the same line of questioning by the end of the week.
“This is probably going to be the last one I answer,” he said. “There will be a time and place when I’ll be here again answering questions if it happens or if it doesn’t. But for now I’m just trying to worry about today and not trying to worry about anything else and just try to go out there and enjoy myself as much as I can.”
The downpour that soaked the field and anyone who stepped outside is finally over, the sun is out and the clubs will take batting practice.