As he returns to Fenway Park tonight to begin the World Series, Manny Machado will be a bad guy again in Boston. But Matt Barnes probably won’t throw at his head this time and maybe Chris Sale won’t throw one behind him and tell us the pitch got away from him.
That Sale is a real cutup.
A few games and an entire year plus have gone by since Machado was thrown at in Boston in May 2017. After that game, he said he lost respect for the Boston organization, but this time he says he simply is going there in search of a World Series victory.
But back on May 2, 2017, Machado said: “What do you think? Coward stuff. I mean, that’s stuff that you don’t (expletive) do, but I mean, I’m not on that side, I’m not in that organization. They’re still thinking about that same slide that I did that was no intention on hurting anybody. I’m still paying, I’m still trying to get hit at, get thrown at my (expletive) head. They’re (expletive) throwing at everywhere. (Expletives). I’ve lost my respect for that organization, for that coaching staff, for everyone over there.”
Machado seems to be embracing his ever-growing bad guy image in this postseason and more booing at Fenway Park just might lead him to focus even more on producing big hits and making big plays in the field for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But Manny’s actions several times this month could have an impact to limit the field of teams that aggressively pursue him this winter. It also could make him an enemy next year in every ballpark but the one where he plays his home games. He’s becoming that guy that only the hometown fans can support.
Even in Baltimore we’ve seen many fans express the sentiment that they are glad he is now gone. Machado has struggled to control his emotions again on the field and it may take him a long time this time to shed any bad guy image - if he even can.
World Series odds: Boston is the favorite to beat the Dodgers and win the World Series that begins tonight. The Game 1 marquee pitching matchup features Sale against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.
The online sportsbook Bovada.com list these odds for players to win the World Series MVP:
Chris Sale - 11/2
Mookie Betts - 6/1
Clayton Kershaw - 7/1
J.D. Martinez - 7/1
Manny Machado - 8/1
Craig Kimbrel - 12/1
Justin Turner - 12/1
Kenley Jansen - 14/1
Cody Bellinger - 15/1
Yasiel Puig - 15/1
Andrew Benintendi - 17/1
Ian Kinsler - 18/1
Xander Bogaerts - 20/1
David Freese - 22/1
Steve Pearce - 22/1
Chris Taylor - 22/1
Prospect league rankings: Baseball America has finished ranking the top 20 prospects in each minor league for the 2018 season. The Orioles had five different players get ranked but had no one in the top 20 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, including their top 2018 draft pick, pitcher Grayson Rodriguez.
Here are the O’s players and their rankings in various leagues.
Outfielder Yusniel Díaz of the Double-A Bowie Baysox was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the Texas League. With Tulsa before he was traded by the Dodgers to the Orioles in the Machado deal, Díaz hit .314/.428/.477 with an OPS of .905.
Right-handed pitcher Dean Kremer was ranked No. 15 in the Single-A California League. Kremer, who also came to the Orioles via the Machado deal, went 5-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts for Rancho Cucamonga with a 1.18 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 79 innings.
Kremer led all minor league pitchers in strikeouts this season with 178 over 131 1/3 innings for an average of 12.2 per nine innings.