Manny Machado was widely speculated to want to sign with the Yankees once he hit free agency last fall. The fit seemed a good one, as Didi Gregorius‘ injury made at least a temporary opening at short and Miguel Andújar’s defensive struggles suggested that he may not stick long at third. Machado met with the Yankee but their interest did not materialize and Machado moved on, eventually signing with San Diego. It was pretty straightforward story of a team not being as interested in a player as the player seemed to be interested in the team.
The Yankees fans in attendance at yesterday’s Padres-Yankees game, however, gave Machado the sort of welcome that is usually reserved for a free agent who snubs a team despite the team’s strong desire to sign him. Boo City, U.S.A.:
I realize Machado is not particularly popular anywhere, and that he was a division rival of the Yankees for years, but I don’t recall him getting that sort of reception — let alone the “over-rated!” chants which followed — when he’d hit the Bronx with Baltimore.
I realize that on some level almost everyone is rooting for laundry, thus parsing why any given payer is loved or loathed takes you into some pretty subjective territory, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Yankees fans at the game yesterday were blaming Machado for the Yankees’ lack of a desire to sign him. Which . . . is kinda weird, ain’t it?