Manny Machado is on pace for the most doubles of all time

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Manny Machado broke up Scott Kazmir’s no-hitter last night by smacking his 36th double of the season. Not only does that lead MLB by a wide margin–no one else has more than 26–it puts the 20-year-old third baseman on pace to break the all-time record.

Earl Webb is the record-holder with 67 doubles in 1931 and Machado is currently on pace for 74 doubles. Looking at things another way, Baltimore has played 79 games and here’s the all-time doubles leaderboard through 79 team games:

Edgar Martinez     1996     39
Earl Webb          1931     38
Paul Waner         1932     37
MANNY MACHADO      2013     36
George Burns       1926     36

Edgar Martinez and three guys from the 1920s and 1930s is pretty good company. Machado is two doubles behind where Webb was in 1931 and it’s worth noting that teams only played 154 games per season back then.

And just to show how incredible what he’s doing is at Machado’s age, here’s the all-time doubles leaderboard through 79 team games for 20-year-olds:

MANNY MACHADO      2013     36
Ted Williams       1939     27
Alex Rodriguez     1996     25
Vada Pinson        1959     22
Mel Ott            1929     22

Manny Machado is bogarting all the doubles.

(All of these numbers come courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com’s indispensable Play Index, which is the single most valuable research tool in baseball.)

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.