The tireless Manny Machado
August, 12, 2012
By Buster Olney | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Gail BurtonIt hasn't taken Manny Machado long to show he belongs with the Baltimore Orioles.
There will be time for sleep on Monday, when the Baltimore Orioles have an off day, and Manny Machado needs it. He estimates that he had about 12 hours of sleep in the first 72 hours after he was called up to the big leagues, with the adrenaline rush, the phone calls and text messages fueling him. When a young player is summoned to the big leagues, the entire baseball community shares the joy.
The first to call was Yonder Alonso, a close friend who happens to also be the first baseman for the San Diego Padres, and Alonso was screaming. "See?" Machado remembers him yelling. "Hard work pays off! You worked your ass off!"
When Machado went out for his pregame sprints in his Thursday debut, he crossed paths with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals, and they had hugs for him. "Stay hungry and just do you," Hosmer said to him. "Don't try to do too much."
Machado walked up to the plate for his first major league at-bat, and Royals catcher Salvador Perez greeted him. "Congratulations," Perez said.
"Welcome to the big leagues," said home plate umpire Tim Tschida.
Machado ripped a triple in his second at-bat, scored a run, and when he got back to the dugout, Adam Jones met him. "Once you got that first hit out of the way," Jones told Machado, "you can really settle in."
His cell phone was filled with text messages by the time the game ended, and the phone rang afterward. Alex Rodriguez was calling. "How'd it feel?" Rodriguez asked.
"Was it what you imagined?"
"I finally got the jitters off," Machado told him.
But as he prepared for his second game, Machado found he still felt the butterflies, the same level of excitement he had for his first game. Machado mashed his first home run of his career and then his second.
"The phone has been nonstop blowing up," he said early Saturday afternoon. "Jon Jay called. Yonder. We work out together in the offseason, and we're like brothers. Everybody has just been excited for me."
"I can barely sleep," Machido continued. "Now I'm going back to the ballpark and I'm going to play again."
He sounded similar to what a child would sound like on Christmas morning.
It was a long day at the park for Machado on Saturday because rain delayed the start of the game by three hours; he drove in a run in the Orioles' loss.
The Royals got some runs for Luis Mendoza, writes Bob Dutton.