Is Manny Machado Allergic to Responsibility?

Is Manny Machado Allergic to Responsibility?

by January 14, 2019 0 comments

Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting Manny Machado received an eight-year offer from the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have done everything short of moving actual mountains to show their interest in Machado, with the hope of gaining an edge over the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies.

Whether it’s bringing in brother-in-law Yonder Alonso, friend Jon Jay, or lights-out reliever Kelvin Herrera to go with Chicago’s young core, the front office has built a team that can compete now and in the future. Though, the “now” portion of that plan is contingent on Machado. Without him, the White Sox can’t be taken seriously as a World Series contender.

Is that something Machado is prepared to handle? He’ll get what he wants playing shortstop—deservedly so, he may be the most gifted of them all. But Machado will need to be more than just the team’s best player, working alongside Jose Abreu. Machado will have to be a visible leader in Chicago. He hasn’t had to do that at any point in his seven-year big league career.

In Baltimore, Machado was the star but was always one of the younger players. It’s fair to argue he was the opposite of a positive influence at times—at least in the public eye—given he got into his share of brawls and went in a little too hard on a slide or two. When he got shipped out west, he didn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

His view that hustling is “not my cup of tea” comment to Ken Rosenthal was like nails on a chalkboard for the entire sports world, not just Major League Baseball. It’s one thing to not hustle, plenty of successful athletes haven’t from time to time and have still gone on to win titles. But to say something like that publicly didn’t do Machado any good.

However, that didn’t stop his team from making it through the NLCS and into the World Series. He was a hired gun, not the backbone of that team. Baseball fans may have lost love for Dodgers in the short-term, but the team was able to power through because Machado didn’t have to be a focal point in the clubhouse.

If he goes to Chicago, though, Machado will pretty much be the story every night. That’s not necessarily the case if he goes to New York. In Philly, Machado may receive more attention than in the Bronx if he fails, but if he’s performing well no one will care about his personality, where that might be a concern for the Yankees.

The pressure that would come with Chicago may be too much for Machado, and there may not be enough money in the world to get him to take on that leadership role.

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