I wonder how many people realize Miguel Cabrera already has a World Series ring

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If you Google any sports figure for almost anything you’re bound to get a bunch of hits from Bleacher Report, as they have mastered the dark art of search engine optimization. This can sometimes be annoying, but it can sometimes be enlightening too. For example, I learned this morning that Miguel Cabrera needs to win a World Series ring in order to “send him to baseball immortality,” cement his legacy and write his name in “historical lore.”

One would think, wouldn’t one, that a story about the World Series and Miguel Cabrera’s legacy would at least mention the fact that he already has a World Series ring thanks to his tenure on the 2003 Florida Marlins.

Perhaps Cabrera wasn’t a major part of that World Series title (although he did hit a two-run homer off Roger Clemens in Game 4). But even if one were to make the argument that it didn’t mean much since he wasn’t the leader of that team or something, one would have to at least acknowledge that it occurred and explain why winning one with the Tigers would be different and more significant. This writer doesn’t seem to even be aware of it.

I don’t offer this in order to mess with Bleacher Report specifically. I offer it more as a comment on the people who engage in the even darker arts of judging players’ legacies.  We’ve seen an awful lot of that this postseason already with the A-Rod business, but it happens every year. People leave out that which doesn’t fit their preconceived ideas and preferred narratives. They emphasize things which do. If it means pretending that some history doesn’t exist, so be it.  And it’s not just Bleacher Report writers who do it.

I understand that desire to make stories with beginnings, middles and ends — and with richly-drawn characters, morals and the rest — out of sporting events. But, just, cut it out. Sports don’t work that way.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.