What’s next for Manny
Manny Machado did not have a great 2019 and he has readily admitted that. But he remains one of the best third baseman in baseball with many productive years ahead of him.
If the Padres coax consistent production from Hosmer, the two other outfielders not named Tommy Pham, whoever is manning second base, and even mediocre production from the catching position they could easily win over 85 games in 2020.
It is not overstating matters to say that much of the success of 2020 rests on the production and leadership from Tatis Jr and Machado.
Tatis Jr is a superstar waiting to happen and the only requirement is that he stays healthy.
Machado, on the other hand, must prove to Padres fans and the rest of baseball that he is not defined by the shortcomings of his previous mistakes in judgement or the failures of the 2019 season.
Who is the real Manny Machado?
After attending the recent Friar FanFest I began thinking about the inconsistencies that we have all seen in Machado.
It was impressive to see his enthusiasm and willingness in engaging fans during the course of the day. As well as the openness and joy he exhibited in his interview and cheerleading with the Friar Faithful. This was a different guy than we have previously experienced.
All Padres fans who follow baseball saw the guy who angered Milwaukee Brewer fans and players with the apparent dirty plays during the Dodgers/ Brewers playoffs in 2018.
We all heard about the players voting Machado as the “dirtiest player is baseball.”
After signing his contract last February, Machado said all the right things but his words seemed automatic and cliche ridden. His play, splendid at times, was inconsistent and tanked the last two months of the season.
What can Padres fans expect from a gifted but sometimes mercurial superstar?
In his interview at FanFest, Machado cited the distracting 2019 offseason that interrupted his normal workouts and preparation.
The need to settle in San Diego before the season began as well as getting to know a new organization and new teammates all contributed to his not being able to perform up to his standards.
He stated that he upped his preparation this offseason, felt better than he ever has and believes in this teams ability to bring a championship to San Diego.
He sounded sincere with genuine emotion that seemed lacking in many of his previous interviews.
Is this the Manny Machado that will lead San Diego to the promised land?