It was reported last night that the New York Yankees have made an offer to the Baltimore Orioles for infielder Manny Machado. The offer is said to be “serious,” and may or may not include top Yankees pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.
Like all trade rumors we’ll know what was true and what was bluster after the fact, but this all sounds a lot more concrete than the rumors which had been floating around previously. That means it’s quite possible that the Yankees are going to load up for bear in the second half with the best available player on the market, adding his .314/.383/.573, 23-homer batting line to an already dominant offense.
We’ll deal with that if and when it happens, however. For now, let’s look at how this is being received in New York. The Daily News:
This is thirsty, folks. This is the baseball equivalent of a schoolgirl writing “Mrs. Manny Machado” on her notebook in flowing script — with a little heart replacing the “o” at the end — and then saying “OMGOMGOMGOMG!” when Machado walks by and gives a little smile. Maybe they’ll be married soon!
I get the excitement. I’d LOVE to have Machado added to my favorite team too. But I also feel like this is the sort of thing that, if fans and the media in another city did it, most Yankees fans would call small time and provincial.
Anyway: good luck, kids. I think you’ll look great together.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.