Booing Manny Machado wasn’t a great look

If you thought about it for more than a second, you could see it coming. Still, I didn’t expect Yankee fans to roundly boo Manny Machado as he returns as a Padre.

It’s not like Machado slighted the Yankees. At 26 years old, with prime years presumably ahead of him, the former Orioles and Dodgers third baseman entered free agency as a hot ticket item. He demanded a record-setting deal — as anyone in his position would — and he was willing to wait for it.

The Yankees’ interest in Machado this offseason is unclear. They brought him to the Bronx and had dinner with him while bogus rumors floated that he was close to signing shortly after New Year’s Day. From all appearances, the Bombers didn’t actually come close to meeting Machado’s price tag, even if they had a genuine desire to bring him aboard. Machado, on the other hand, seemingly wanted to join the Yankees but was rebuffed.

So Machado signed with the Padres for $300 million. That should be celebrated! He got the bag, made bank, etc. He’s a very rich man and will be part of an up-and-coming team, one that will only play the Yankees on a triennial basis (provided the teams don’t meet in the Fall Classic). Phew! This is a guy who has 22 homers against the Bombers, more than he has against any other franchise. Getting him out of the division and league as a whole is a relief.

Let’s be clear: Yankee fans don’t need to cheer Machado. He’s never played for the Yankees and likely never will (though New York has precedent for absorbing record-setting deals). His bat did torment the Bronx faithful for years.

But booing him just doesn’t pass the test to me. Maybe if it’s a “We didn’t want you anyway” jeer or a set of boos for him destroying the Yankees for years, but it’s not like he earned a chorus of boos in previous trips to the Bronx.

These boos reeked of the kind Yankees fans pay to Robinson Cano or Orioles fans dealt to Mark Teixeira for years. The voiced displeasure of a superstar not taking a discount to join your team and city, unearned scorn that does a disservice to the fanbase and player. Perhaps, in Cano’s case, the star may regret not joining the team, but the booing is still unnecessary.

Machado, for what it’s worth, was unphased by the Bronx welcome he received. “I get booed everywhere I go,” Machado said. “Great players get booed.” He was rightfully more focused on the loss San Diego took on Monday.

The Yankees have been fine thus far without Machado. D.J. LeMahieu has surpassed fans’ low expectations while Gio Urshela has caught fire. The franchise still has to settle third base in the long term unless the brass believes Urshela is a long-term fit at the hot corner.

Machado’s old teammate, Zack Britton, didn’t think the infielder would end up in the Bronx, but he would have enjoyed reuniting with the third baseman.

“I thought he was a perfect fit,’’ Britton told the New York Post. “He brings elite defense at third, his power in the Stadium would have played and he would have been good in the clubhouse where there are other big names, as well.”

Ultimately, the Bombers had an opportunity to lock up a star in Machado and passed. That’s their choice and, based on the early results, it’s been a perfectly OK one. The Yankees may regret it later on, but that’s no reason to boo Machado. He’s happy, the Yankees are happy; Why can’t we all get along?

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12 Comments

  1. RetroRob

    I find booing players silly, but what evs.

    As Reggie said: “Fans don’t be nobodies.”

  2. Gonzo The Great

    End of the day, Machado is right. Great players get boo’d. Generational Players get boo’d ALOT. If our fellow fans are booing him because he’s not a Yankee because he got $80M more to play in San Diego, then they’re idiots.

    Ditto the Cano Era. But here’s the thing about that… The Yankees were ultimately right about Cano. He was nowhere near worth a commitment of 10 seasons. He was a hair above average in 2017, great in a steroid suspension shortened 2018 and currently injured 1/3 of the way through 2019. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there’s 4 years to go.

    Sure, Machado has more prime left than Cano did when he signed, but if I were a betting man, I’d say they were right about Machado too in 6 years’ time.

  3. yanks317

    I was at Tuesday’s game and people were booing him hard and I think I heard 50 different people saying “they didn’t even make him an offer”. In general, the other teams best player gets booed, unless he’s universally liked. I know the reason he got booed is wrong, but Derek Jeter got a rousing chorus of boos in most road cities (if the stadium wasn’t overrun by Yankee fans). Manny doesn’t have a great image, has a huge contract, and is the other teams best player, he gets booed everywhere he goes. The ‘additional’ booing he took for not taking a huge discount to sign here is dumb, but I think he would have gotten booed even if Cashman came out and said “we have no interest in Manny Machado” this offseason.

  4. Bryce Harper's Toupee

    Machado should be booed. We dodged a bullet with him. He doesn’t even run out grounders. Lazy just like Cano was. And look what happened to him.

  5. Harristotle

    The reality is that Yankee fans as a whole are quite terrible and not reflective of the more intelligent fan base that we have here and had at RAB. Booing for a guy who wanted to play for us, even reportedly for a discount, is just terrible.

  6. Brian M

    Machado was a pain in our ass for years and is one of the least likable players in the MLB due to his antics/comments (I don’t need to run to first base/intentionally kicking Aguilar at first base/ruining Pedroia’s career). If anyone deserves to get booed it’s him. If you don’t like booing in general then that’s yo problem.

  7. JudgingStanton

    It’s just foolish to boo him, but most fans are foolish. After all, they do the wave in the bottom of the inning when the team is trying to stage a comeback.

    Funny that Britton mentioned he’d be a great clubhouse fit, contradicting some of the clubhouse cancer reports we saw this offseason. Some fans didn’t want him because of the Charlie hustle comment, but have no problem cheering for Mccutchen or asking the Yanks to pursue a starter like Danny Duffy, two convicted drunk drivers.

    Fans are funny like that.

    • JudgingStanton

      F. Not Cutch, Maybin.

      Sorry Cutch, you’re the man.

    • Chip

      Fan thought process:

      Machado wants to be a Yankee = Machado should take a huge discount to play for the Yankees.

      If Machado doesn’t take a huge discount to play for the Yankees then Machado is a bad person.

  8. Mac

    “The franchise still has to settle third base in the long term unless the brass believes Urshela is a long-term fit at the hot corner.”

    Steven, long term they have to still be thinking Andujar. I wanted Machado btw. I love Andujar’s bat and work ethic. The D scared the hell out of me.

  9. Chip

    You pay your money, you can boo who you want to boo. Machado is right, great players get booed when they go on the road – nature of life.

    No, it’s not Machado’s fault that the Yankees chose not to sign him; but I don’t think booing an opposing player is a ‘bad look’ for Yankee fans. Not signing Machado (or Harper) for financial reasons is a bad look for the Yankees.

  10. Alex

    Gonna guess the same fans who booed Machado also passionately defend ownership’s desire to maximize profits

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