Manny Machado joins Los Angeles Dodgers with goal of winning World Series


MILWAUKEE — If the All-Star break is a transformative expertise for some, maybe that has by no means been so actually the case than it’s for Manny Machado, who entered the break as an Oriole and exited it a Dodger.

Machado joined his new membership Friday in Milwaukee, the place the Los Angeles Dodgers opened a three-game weekend sequence with Brewers with a 6-Four victory. He singled in his first at-bat and went 2-for-Three with two walks a pair hours after addressing the media for the primary time in his new blue L.A. threads.

“I am relieved,” Machado mentioned. “Relieved it lastly received carried out. It is thrilling to be right here. It is a terrific group. Nice group, with a number of baseball historical past. I am going to simply come right here and be myself and attempt to match into the membership round right here.”

The Dodgers acquired Machado from Baltimore on Wednesday in trade for 5 prospects, at some point after he went 0-for-2 because the American League’s beginning shortstop within the All-Star {Game} — carrying an Oriole uniform. Now, it is a new league, a brand new group, a brand new uniform and a brand new starting.

To underscore the contemporary begin, Machado chosen uniform No. Eight slightly than negotiating for the No. 13 he wore in Baltimore, which is worn by Dodgers slugger Max Muncy. Machado selected the brand new quantity for a really L.A. purpose that will not do something to hurt his relationship to his new followers.

“No. Eight was I needed to alter it up,” Machado mentioned. “New starting, new journey, new group. I needed to develop that route. I used to be an enormous Kobe [Bryant] fan rising up. My canine’s title is Kobe.”

For the Dodgers, the addition of Machado is the most recent midseason splash for a franchise that has received the Nationwide League West in every of the previous 5 seasons. After a sluggish begin, L.A. rebounded to nab a slim half-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks atop the division. But with beginning shortstop Corey Seager out for the season with an elbow harm, the Dodgers have been one star brief, narrowing their probabilities to snap a championship drought that has stretched to 30 years. Now not.

“I am right here to play baseball,” Machado mentioned. “I have been there fairly a number of occasions. My spouse loves it; my household does as properly. We’re simply trying ahead to having fun with the gorgeous climate that is on the market. Going on the market to play and attempt to win a championship.”

With Machado heading into free company after the season, and the Orioles sinking to franchise-worst ranges, it appeared to solely be a matter of time earlier than he was moved. Within the meantime, he fielded each day questions on his extended state of limbo, particularly when Baltimore handed by cities comparable to Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Chicago — all with groups regarded as concerned with nabbing the younger All-Star. And remember about Milwaukee, Machado’s first opponent with L.A.

“We predict Manny was actually essentially the most impactful participant that was in the marketplace on the time,” Dodgers normal supervisor Farhan Zaidi mentioned. “I believe any contender might see that he might make a optimistic influence on them. So there was a number of groups concerned. We simply tried to remain engaged.

“As I discussed a few days in the past when the deal went down, this has been within the making for over a month, and I do know conversations with these different groups have been going down, too. For a participant of Manny’s caliber, you understand you are going to have to surrender loads, and we did. That speaks to what we expect this group can accomplish and the way nice a participant we expect he’s.”

Machado remained open and gracious along with his time all through the method, however by the point the midseason break arrived, he appeared to be rising weary of the fixed questions. Now, whereas the questions will not cease, at the very least the intent behind them will probably be refreshingly totally different.

“Any further, each sport counts,” Machado mentioned. “We’re making an attempt to win video games, making an attempt to win the division, making an attempt to get to the postseason. It is a group sport. I am simply coming right here to attempt to assist the group nevertheless I can, whether or not it is protection, offense, third, brief, wherever it’s. I am right here to only play.”

Machado entered his Dodgers debut hitting a career-best .315 with 24 homers and 65 RBIs regardless of toiling in a Baltimore lineup that afforded him few run-scoring probabilities. All 96 of his appearances for the Orioles got here at shortstop, the place he moved full time earlier than this season. He is performed nearly all of his profession video games at third base, nevertheless, and regardless of his choice for taking part in brief, the Dodgers plan to maneuver Machado round — ultimately — simply as they like to do with all of their place gamers.

To start his L.A. tenure in Friday’s sport, Machado performed brief and supervisor Dave Roberts penciled him in because the No. 2 hitter, between Chris Taylor and Muncy. Machado has batted second extra typically than another batting order slot by his profession, so that’s acquainted terrain.

“It is type of the two and three,” Roberts mentioned. “We will type of bounce him round. Have not actually honed in precisely the place, however a participant of his caliber, clearly, we’ll give him some consistency. His reception to [playing third] was very open. He hasn’t taken any grounders this yr at third base, so it’s a must to recognize that and perceive that he hasn’t carried out all of it yr. We wish to put him in the most effective place to have success.

“For him to be open to it’s one factor, however for the foreseeable future, I believe we’ll give him a lttle runway to play brief and see the way it appears to be like for us. Simply having him open to play third base if wanted will solely assist us.”

What wasn’t acquainted for Machado was the blue hat, the Nationwide League teammates and the quantum leap from Baltimore’s 39½-game deficit within the American League East on the break and the Dodgers’ half-game benefit within the NL West. No marvel Machado was all smiles.

“I wish to win,” Machado mentioned. “On the finish of the day, I wish to win a hoop. Everybody in there desires to win a hoop. No matter I can to do to make the method higher or simpler for the group, I am all for it.”

Whereas Machado can now stay up for a World Collection chase along with his new group slightly than trade-related questions each day, that does not imply inquiries about his future will stop altogether. Machado will probably be one of many prized teammates in the marketplace this winter, and the high-dollar Dodgers will certainly be one of many groups that search to lock him up. Naturally, as the remainder of the season unfolds, individuals will marvel if he desires to stay round Chavez Ravine. Throughout his first press convention as a Dodger, the topic did come up.

“Truthfully, this has been going so quick — all the things has been so loopy, proper? — I have never actually thought of it,” Machado mentioned. “Simply making an attempt to reside within the second, take pleasure in this, coming right here. I used to be excited to place the blue on and I am simply trying ahead to placing on my jersey tonight.”

What will surely assist promote Machado on his new membership can be a championship expertise, one which L.A. hasn’t given anybody since 1988. It did not occur in 1998, the 10-year mark of the final championship, nor on the 20-year mark, in 2008, when the Dodgers nabbed one other trade-deadline Manny — the irrepressible Manny Ramirez, whom L.A. acquired from Boston.

With 11 days till the commerce deadline, the Dodgers nonetheless have time to place the ending touches on a roster that Vegas now favors to win the Nationwide League for a second straight yr. Like most contenders, the Dodgers might use one other arm or two within the bullpen. However the heavy lifting is finished after touchdown Machado, simply essentially the most transformative participant on the commerce market. L.A. landed the large one — now it is only a matter of him becoming in. Nobody appears to assume that will probably be an issue.

“This can be a participant who has been with the identical group his complete profession,” Roberts mentioned. “To come back to a unique group, a brand new league, as we talked concerning the No. 8, the brand new beginnings, I believe that’s an effective way to have a look at it. He’s a veteran participant who’s on the verge of free company, however to embrace this as a brand new journey for himself and his spouse, I believe it is a great way to type of go about it.”



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