R.A. Dickey: Real Man

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Andy Martino has a really nice column up about R.A. Dickey today.

The upshot: in the wake of the revelations about his personal life the other day, Dickey’s ability to be open, frank and to stand up and answer questions about the sorts of things most of us — and virtually all professional athletes — would be unable or unwilling to do shows that he is more of a real man than any of the macho stereotypes who get that label.

He’s not a saint, obviously. The stuff he did that risked his marriage shows that.  But unlike most of us, Dickey seems to be well aware of his flaws and his demons and it’s pretty astounding to see someone be so honest about them in public like he is.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.