Here's a pretty cool story for you as Orioles' fans get prepped for FanFest on Saturday.
Manny Machado is scheduled to meet this afternoon with his surgeon in Los Angeles to go through some more tests on his left knee before he can be cleared for baseball activities.
It’s obviously an important exam and it takes priority over other things in Machado’s baseball life right now.
The problem is, because of Dr. Neal ElAttrache’s schedule, the tests could only be done Friday afternoon – and Machado was scheduled to be in Baltimore on Saturday for the annual FanFest at the Convention Center.
The only way he could make it cross country was to take a red-eye Saturday morning – and Machado and his fiancee would be at the mercy of commercial airlines and potential cancellations. Or he would just have to miss the event altogether.
Enter manager Buck Showalter and, more importantly, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.
Showalter was talking to Jones on the phone recently and the center fielder said he and his fiancee were flying from San Diego to Baltimore on Friday morning in a private jet.
Showalter paused and asked Jones how far it was from San Diego to L.A. – the answer: a couple hours in a car; about 30 minutes or fewer in a Learjet.
Showalter asked Jones if there were any way he could stop over in L.A. and pick up Machado, so Machado could come back in comfort and not have to push things Saturday morning. It would require Jones to not leave until later Friday and cancel his evening plans in Baltimore.
“He didn’t even hesitate,” Showalter said of Jones. “That’s the epitome of a teammate. Just another example of Adam doing the right things. Really, he’s the only reason Manny will definitely be able to make it.”
In an unrelated note -- but, literally, a direct relation to Showalter -- the manager’s son, Nathan, has been hired to be an amateur scout for the San Diego Padres. Nathan Showalter doesn’t graduate from Texas Christian University until May, but he will begin working with the Padres in February.
He’ll scout the greater Dallas area as well as help out the Padres’ organization in the Dominican Republic. The younger Showalter is proficient in Spanish.