We reporters are pretty predictable.
The obvious story line rarely escapes us.
So when Manny Machado, the Orioles’ 20-year-old rookie third baseman hits a game-winning homer in the seventh and makes two good plays on defense on the night the franchise honors the best defensive third baseman in the history of baseball, Brooks Robinson, well, we couldn’t let that rest.
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But I give Machado a whole lot of credit. It was kind of a loaded question, asking him whether it was fitting for him to come up big on Brooks Robinson statue night.
And he answered expertly, dismissing the serendipity while praising Robinson, too.
“It’s all right. I’m just trying to be me,” Machado said. “Just trying to catch the ball first. But to do it on his night. Feels great. Felt great. But even better, we came out with the win.”
Perfect answer. And, yep, the kid is 20.
By now, I’m sure you all wonder what Brooksie thinks of Machado. Well, here is your answer, Robinson on Machado:
“I like that kid playing third base. When you make a transition from short to third, it takes you a while to get adjusted. I think Cal Sr. told that to Cal when he came back to third. It’s going to take you a few games, 30-40 games, to get used to it over there. But he’s that good and it didn’t take him long to get acclimated to it. This kid, he can play anywhere. Got a great arm and great instinct, we’ve seen that, he’s got a great instinct for the ball. There’s a few things they can work on to make him better. I’m not trying to criticize him, but things like men on first and second, no away, where do you play? When do you know to go after a ball or not go after a ball? Things like that. He’s a terrific player. Nobody has really fooled him when it comes to hitting. He swings the bat and gets his hits.”