The World Baseball Classic has not been kind to the San Diego Padres. Not only has Nick Martinez been removed from the Team USA roster, but third baseman Manny Machado and outfielder Juan Soto have officially crashed out of the competition despite coming in as one of the unquestioned favorites.
While the Dominican Republic was considered one of the favorites to take home the championship, some upsets left Machado and Soto going home early. This had to be a tough pill for him to swallow, as he admitted in an interview that winning the World Baseball Classic would mean more than a World Series.
"World Baseball Classic for me," Machado said. "I have not won a World Series yet, but hopefully, one day. I want to win both." Machado's competitiveness is so insatiable that he wants to win a championship in both domestic and international play, but he clearly loves putting on his national team's jersey.
Padres 3B Manny Machado wants a World Baseball Classic title
Machado's comments shouldn't get Padres fans worried about his commitment to winning a championship. The fact that he signed a huge extension with San Diego in a time when contenders from all over the league would pay an ungodly sum for his services shows he wants to win with this team.
At a time when the WBC has come under fire due to Edwin Diaz's season-ending injury, comments by players like Machado show that there will always be enough passion among some of the game's biggest names to keep the competition alive. You can tell this means something to Machado.
Soto and Machado will return to Padres camp alongside multiple other players that were knocked out of the competition early. Xander Bogaerts was unable to get the Netherlands out of the group stage, and Ha-Seong Kim's Korea was also sent home early.
San Diego might be able to bring a WBC winner back to their roster if Yu Darvish can push Japan deeper into the tournament. One day, Machado hopes to lead his country to the sam rarified air as Darvish may find himself in.