Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oriole #937- Manny Machado

Manny Machado made his Orioles' debut in Thursday night's game against the Royals as the O's starting third baseman. He was 2-4 at the plate and scored a run. His first major league hit was a triple to lead off the fifth inning, which lead to his scoring the Orioles' first run of the game. Interestingly, Machado's debut was probably the biggest debut in Baltimore since Matt Wieters, and Wieters' first big league hit was also a triple.

Manny on third base after his triple
I feel that expectations are high for Manny's career but are tampered for the time being, especially since he was called up directly from the AA Bowie Baysox and has never played a game at the AAA level. Getting two hits in his first game won't do anything to lower what the fans will expect of him, but I personally am happy to have him in Baltimore this season. The team is in the playoff hunt and there are a few veteran players on the roster who just haven't been getting it done. If nothing else, this should light a fire under some of them. 

Manny is a very confident individual and player, so I don't expect the big league lifestyle to effect him too much. He seems to have a fairly high opinion of himself, so he will likely fit in to the Majors pretty well. 

I have had the opportunity to get Manny's signature a number of times during the time he spent with the Aberdeen Ironbirds, Frederick Keys, Bowie Baysox, and at spring training prior to this season. While his autograph has never been much to look at, there are still visible differences between his "good" and "bad" signatures. 

Here is a card he signed for me while he was playing with the Ironbirds shortly after he was drafted in 2010. Not great but not too bad. 

But then here are some of the signatures I got during his time with the Keys throughout the latter half of the 2011 season.

That last one looks like a single M and doesn't bear much resemblance to the pre-printed signature on the card. 

By no means am I trying to begrudge a player like Manny who has easily signed thousands of autographs already in his young career. It's great that he signs at all, and it's obviously not something that he needs to do. But I can almost guarantee that he will be a very tough autograph to get later in his career, especially if he achieves the level of success that I think that he is capable of reaching. 

On a slight uptick, here is his autograph that I obtained during 2012 spring training, which seems to be a return towards his early career 'graph, which is certainly a good thing. 

Good luck in the Majors Manny! I would love to be cheering for you for many years to come.


Paul Hadsall said...

I'm glad he's doing well in Baltimore, but I wish the Orioles had left him in Double-A just a little bit longer - Bowie is coming to Trenton next weekend. :-)

Orioles Magic said...

Bad timing! At least you might get to see Bundy pitch!