BALTIMORE --- Manny Machado know that this is likely to be the final game in an Orioles uniform for some of the players he’s spent four years with.
Chris Davis, who was presented with the Most Valuable Oriole award before the game, is foremost in Machado’s thoughts. So are Wei-Yin Chen, Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters.
“It’s a part of the business. Not all of them are going to be able to come back, but when you have a guy hitting 40-something home runs and driving in 120 for a team, you want to see them back. We need them back. From the season we had, going from Nelson Cruz and losing [Nick] Markakis, we’ve got to do something,” Machado said.
“I think our top priority will be signing Davis and try to get a couple more key pieces to stay here as well. I think we’ve just got to get them back to where we need to be. We missed a couple of pieces, and that didn’t help and losing Davis is definitely not going to help us.”
The 23-year-old Machado would be reluctant to campaign to upper management to stay here unlike Adam Jones.
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“Definitely, I’m not saying I’m a nobody here, but I’m just here to play baseball. Adam, obviously is here. He’s a franchise player. He has definitely more of a voice than anybody in this clubhouse. He wants [Davis]. We all want him to come back. At the same time, we know it’s a business,” Machado said.
“At the end of the day, we need Davis here. We need O’Day here. We need all the other free agents, Chen, all the guys that helped us get to a winning organization. Definitely, you don’t want to see them leave, but it’s tough to stay.”
If Davis and at least some of the others depart, that leaves a void in the clubhouse, is Machado ready to assume leadership?
‘If it comes to that point, definitely. I’ve learned from Adam. Since I got here, Adam’s been the only person who’s came up and talked to me. Obviously, J.J. [Hardy]. J.J.’s a little different. He’s a quiet leader. He leads the team in a different way. Learning from both of those guys, I definitely stepped in and just do what I can do. Go out there and help the team win, which is the most part,” Machado said.
“This is where the position has changed. Everybody who comes in here wants to win. When you all have that mentality, we all want to win, we all want to be brothers. That takes us to the next level. I’m definitely ready to step up and do what I have to do to help this team get to the next level.”
Even at 23, he’s ready, Machado said.
“It’s just part of life. I think I that’s how I see it. You’re going to have to become a man someday or the other. This is a different team. This not like the Yankees back in the day. They had Jeter, A-Rod, Babe Ruth. We have a different clubhouse here. Everybody speaks up here,” Machado said.
“That’s why we’re so special here. I think that’s why we’re so special here. Everybody can just stand up and say whatever they want. It’s not just the veterans. It’s not just the older guys. Any rookie or any one-year person can stand up and say something. I think that’s why we have a different organization over here. We have something special that we thrived for and enjoy. That’s why we all enjoy playing with each other. We don’t want nobody to leave because we have such a great bond here, so I don’t think that’s a big deal. Anybody can just come up here and say what they want. At the end of the day, this is a team, there’s no I in team. Everybody’s going to have to say something to make stuff right.”
Machado said if the Orioles come to him in the offseason with an offer for an extension, he’s ready to listen.
“Yeah, why not? This is the organization I play for, this is the organization I love. This is the only organization I know. I’d definitely be interested in talking. We’ll see what when that day comes,” Machado said.
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