Padres third baseman Manny Machado was briefly the talk of the offseason, inking a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres on February 21. The contract was bested shortly thereafter when Bryce Harper signed for $330 million over 13 years with the Phillies.
Still, Machado’s windfall is enviable, even by mascots. Braves mascot Blooper was so green with envy, he conconcted a scheme to trick Machado into signing away his earnings. Blooper brought out a large placard with the header “PLAYER AUTOGRAPHS.” There was a large cutout rectangle in the bottom right corner where Blooper insisted Machado sign, so the superstar did as he was told. Blooper then peeled off the autograph cover to reveal a large personal check made out to Blooper for the amount of $300 million. Oops!
What a brilliant scheme executed flawlessly by Blooper.
Machado entered Wednesday’s action batting a .236/.325/.368 with four homers and 12 RBI. Perhaps becoming a theft victim will motivate him to pick up the offense. [Update: It did. He hit a game-tying solo homer in the fourth inning.]
ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.
When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.
With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.
Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.
“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”
Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”
Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.
Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.