"Manny's a great kid,'' said first baseman Chris Davis. "I think one thing that you look at whenever you have young players, is how they handle success and how they handle attention. That was one thing that really impressed me more than anything last year — the fact that he was having success at the big-league level on a team that was a playoff contender, and he didn't let it go to his head. That's a big thing."
He was having too much fun. He never expected to be called up last year. He was still playing for the Double-A Bowie Baysox when he got the surprise promotion. There was still a higher level of minor league ball to be conquered, but the Orioles needed to shore up their defense and Machado stepped in at an unfamiliar position and made himself right at home.
"We got so close last year,'' Machado said. "I wasn't with the team from the get-go, but those last two months, it was amazing baseball for me. It was close games, extra innings. I love playing out there. I love playing with this team, this bullpen, our hitters, our lineup, playing under Buck. It was great. It was the greatest two months of my playing career."
The Machado File
Name: Manny Machado
Age: 20; born July 6, 1992
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Third base
Major League debut: Aug. 9, 2012
Acquired: Drafted in the first round (third overall pick) in the 2010 amateur draft.
High school: Miami Brito Private School
Immediate family: Rosa Nunez (mother); Jasmine Nunez (sister); Yainee Alonso (fiancee)
Defining moment: "The Play"
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