[Regarding discussion on MLBNetwork that Manny Machado is the eighth-best third baseman]
One key area of focus of the discussion (I just watched it) was definitely that there is an uncertainty about Manny Machado. They emphasized how bad his numbers were at the beginning of the season and then how good he was in the middle, only to fall off again at the end. And realistically, in terms of the end of the season, I am not going to really evaluate it because I really think the offense checked out because of the pitching. It’s a flawed offense, for sure, but I think battling all season and just going through those pitching performances every day wore them down the same way it wore us down.
I’m sort of with their evaluation (shredder), but only because I can’t say that Machado is going to be GREAT next season. I I think for a lot of us, we feel like (baseball is never guaranteed) we know what Trout is going to do, Donaldson, Bryant, etc. We can hope against it sometimes, but we have an expectation. When it comes to Machado, I don’t know. He hit a lot of hard balls at the beginning of last season. Do those fall this season instead of turning it outs? Does he put on a more consistent performance or does he have extended periods of the season where he disappears offensively? If the pitching improves, does he remain more engaged throughout the entire season? I don’t know. I think watching him every night and seeing what he can be, it causes your perception to skew upwards (thus the fans putting him #2). But is perception reality? I think as everyone else has said, I can’t see $300 million.
Also interesting (and I missed the guy’s name so someone can hopefully help me out there), the one guy they brought on seemed very negative about Machado wanting to be shortstop. The gist that I took away was he felt Machado needs to make a decision about do you want to be a big, strong, power guy or a shortstop because you can’t do both. That was interesting because, of course, I don’t spend much time thinking about his physiology because I am too busy trying to mentally channel him into staying at third because I love watching his defense there. Either way, fun discussion and I think at the end of the day, what the show really said about Machado is, we don’t really know where he belongs on the list.