WASHINGTON - The introduction was more meaningful tonight than in past All-Star Games.
Manny Machado stood on the top step of the dugout and waited to hear his name. Batting seventh and playing shortstop ... from the Baltimore Orioles ...
It won't happen again. And not just because he hits higher in the order.
Machado will be traded later this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday, and won't be with the Orioles when they resume their season Friday night in Toronto. He's expected to go to the Dodgers barring a last-minute change.
The second batter to face Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer in the top of the second inning, Machado swung at the first pitch thrown to him - an 87 mph slider - and flied to left fielder Matt Kemp.
They're already bonding.
It continued at second base after Kemp doubled off Luis Severino. Machado took a selfie with him, both players wearing huge smiles while mugging for the iPhone. They also carried on a long conversation, no doubt having plenty to talk about.
Machado batted again in the top of the fourth against Mike Foltynewicz and popped up a 2-2 pitch to third base. He came back out for the bottom half of the inning and again in the fifth. So much for caution.
AL manager A.J. Hinch removed Machado in the top of the sixth inning, with the Indians' Franciso Lindor pinch-hitting and playing shortstop. Machado, who didn't have a ball hit to him until fielding Wilson Contreras' grounder in the fifth, is 1-for-8 with a double and RBI in his four All-Star Games.
Machado stood against the railing on the far left side of the dugout during the top of the first inning, when Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer struck out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve, walked Mike Trout and allowed a single to J.D. Martinez before stranding both runners on JosÃ© RamÃrez's pop up.
The five-batter inning made certain that Machado would hit in the second. He returned to his position in the bottom half, too early to remove a starter no matter his trade status.
Think the Orioles brass was getting a bit nervous?
The Nationals grounds crew did a nice job getting the field ready after heavy rains saturated it in the afternoon. But it only takes one slip to break a deal.
Machado's selfie game was strong. He stopped near second base to get a photo with former teammate Nick Markakis, who flied out and walked, after the final out was recorded in the bottom of the fourth inning. He took one of himself near the on-deck circle before his second at-bat.
The AL clubhouse held both Machado and starting pitcher Chris Sale, teammates for one night after tempers flared on May 2, 2017 at Fenway Park. Sale threw behind Machado's surgically repaired knees, clearly a retaliatory gesture for Machado's late slide into second baseman Dustin Pedroia on April 21 at Camden Yards.
Standing outside the visiting clubhouse after the game, Machado unleashed a profanity-laced tirade while blasting the Red Sox and Sale, who responded that he wasn't going to lose any sleep over it.
Everything OK between them now?
"Yeah, you could say that," Machado said Monday afternoon. "Things happen. What (happens) on the field stays on the field, stays between the lines. We protect our players, they protect theirs. It's just part of the game."
So are trades, especially in the month of July. And they can happen right after an All-Star Game.