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Machado angry at checked swing call in Orioles loss

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Machado angry at checked swing call in Orioles loss

ARLINGTON, Tex. –- Manny Machado was livid. He screamed at home plate umpire David Rackley, pleading with him to ask for help on a checked swing that ended the game.

Rackley called Machado out, and the frustration of losing for the ninth time in 10 games got to him. Machado screamed at Rackley while manager Buck Showalter rushed out to get between the two.

The game was over.

The Orioles left the tying run at third, and the go-ahead run at first, as Machado struck out.

A 4-3 Orioles loss to the Texas Rangers before 29.768 at Globe Life Park ended angrily.

“You’ve got to ask there, situation of the game. Changes the whole at-bat, but just we ask them. You’ve got to check. You’ve got to check on that,” Machado said.

“It’s just part of the game. We’ve lost one-run games. Don’t get me wrong. We’re playing against teams that are great, teams that are battling, teams that hopefully are going to be in the playoffs. I mean, it’s not easy. We’re just one hit away, one out away.”

The Orioles entered the ninth trailing by a run against Texas closer Shawn Tolleson. Jonathan Schoop singled and took second on Caleb Joseph’s infield out. Dariel Alvarez walked, and Ryan Flaherty hit into a fielder’s choice.

With Schoop at third and Flaherty at first, Machado was quickly angered by Tolleson’s first pitch, called a strike, but one that Showalter said was “four inches off the plate.”

The count was 1-2, and Machado tried to hold up.

“I think it’s just an overall thing. There’s a lot going on. There’s frustration, I mean, that at-bat, winning run on first, tying run on third. You want to get ahead in that situation. We want to take that into the next inning or give us an opportunity to do something that we needed to do. It’s not something that they’re just starting to do. They’ve done it for a long time, but you’ve got to check. That’s all we ask. A nice little check. See what happens,” Machado said.

Ubaldo Jimenez allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Rangers, and the Orioles (63-66) have lost five of six games on the road trip and nine of 10 overall.

It wasn’t just Machado’s call that annoyed Showalter.

“We’ve got too many other things that happened in that game that we could have done to make it not matter,” Showalter said.

Fortunately for the Orioles, their road trip ends on Sunday. That may be one of the few positives they can find.

In each of the nine games, they’ve scored three runs or fewer, and have now dropped three games under .500 for the first time since July 24. Their 66 losses equal last year’s total.

Texas scored three in the third on an RBI double by Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run homer by Adrian Beltre.

Martin Perez retired the first 11 Orioles until Adam Jones singled with two outs in the fourth.

The Orioles tied the score at 3 in the top of the fifth.

Steve Pearce led off with a home run to left, his ninth of the season. With one out, Joseph singled and Alvarez sent him to third with his first major league hit, a double. Paul Janish’s fly to right scored Joseph, and Alvarez came home on Machado’s RBI single.

It was the first three-run inning for the Orioles (63-66) since Aug. 21 when they scored three against Minnesota in the sixth.

Jimenez (9-9) allowed a two-out triple to Elvis Andrus. After Will Venable was walked intentionally, Mychal Givens allowed a double to Bobby Wilson, giving Texas (67-61) the lead.

It was the fourth straight time Jimenez didn’t finish six innings.

Perez (2-3) allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Machado’s strikeout gave Tolleson his 28th save.

If the Orioles are going to somehow make a playoff run, they’ve got to start quickly.

“We had a good run earlier this year and then we followed it right with a bad run. We still have one more month of baseball. And it’s got to start tomorrow. We’ve got to turn this thing around. And we know we are capable of doing it. I think we’ve got the right guys for it,” Pearce said.

Machado is remaining positive, too.

“I mean, I got faith in this team, and we all trust each other that we’re going to get where we need to get to. We’re not worried about this,” Machado said. “I think we’re just one good game away from starting a nice streak, and going where we need to go,” Machado said.

The Orioles clubhouse was somber after the game, and that’s understandable.

“Frustrated. They are frustrated. So, there’s one way to take that frustration away,” Showalter said. 

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Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers

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Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers

"It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."

"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

I can't decide which quote best applies today. No, it didn't take a "Godfather" offer to pry Manny Machado away from the Orioles. Everyone and their mother knew this day was coming. Machado, he of the .315 batting average, 24 home runs and 65 RBIs, was too big a fish to swim in a last-place pond on the final year of his contract.

Still, the front office in Baltimore knew they had to get this one right, so they held out as long as you could. Depending on who you ask, you might hear that they waited this long to allow Machado to represent the O's in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game as their lone player. I'm sure that was a nice bonus, but the truth is that waiting this long allowed them to net the greatest possible return.

With every twist and turn in the story, new leaders in the sweepstakes emerged and more and more (and better) prospects were added to team's offers. The Yankees wanted to create the most fearsome lineup since the '27 Murderer's Row. The Brewers wanted to show they were aggressive, much like their acquisition of CC Sabathia exactly a decade ago. The Phillies needed to replace the struggling J.P. Crawford at short. The Braves wanted to legitimize their division title chances. The Indians wanted to form the greatest infield in recent memory. The Cubs aren't afraid to turn a strength into a super strength.

Philadelphia was the favorite, until they weren't.

In the end, it was the Dodgers, looking to replace their own injured star shortstop, who made the offer which couldn't be refused.

Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera are headed to Baltimore in exchange for Machado and no additional cash, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. 

The Dodgers were one of the best matches with the O's in terms of prospects. Los Angeles is adept at identifying and developing talent, meaning their farm system has a wealth of talent to draw from. Their fourth-best prospect would be number one or two on many team's lists, so the Orioles were able to extract more value without the Dodgers feeling like they were giving up too much for a rental.

Many fans who think the O's would have to basically give Machado away want to remind you that he is just that; a rental. This brought his value down, though it's arguable how much. Machado isn't your average three-month player. He is a generational defender at third base and a passable defender at shortstop, all while providing a middle of the order bat. If we were ranking players on pure talent level alone, Machado would likely be in the top three in all of baseball, and at age 26 he's only now entering his prime. This is a quality of "rental" rarely, if ever, seen in baseball history.

The Dodgers didn't make this move for the next three months (though it can't be overstated how important it's become to win your division ever since the advent of the Wild Card Game and they are locked in a tight battle atop the NL West). They made this move for October.

The National League has many quality teams, but with no super teams in the ilk of the Red Sox or Astros, a move like this can serve to separate them from the pack. Los Angeles is now probably, at worst, tied with the Cubs as the prohibitive favorites to return to the Fall Classic.

For better or worse, this trade will likely come to define the next decade of Orioles baseball. They needed to nail the prospects they got back, and if nothing else, they should be commended for handling this professionally over the last few weeks. This is a quality package, representing a much-needed infusion of talent into their barren farm system.

It doesn't excuse the previous three years, in which they bungled the situation so badly they somehow managed to go 1,000 days without even talking to their most accomplished player in a generation about a potential contract extension. It's been a laughable, unacceptable, truly embarrassing failure to communicate between a decision maker and his best player.

The one silver lining to the Orioles finding themselves on a historic pace to have one of the worst seasons in Major League Baseball history is that the decision to trade Machado and officially kick off the long rebuilding process was an easy one. In previous seasons, during which the front office could have received much greater value in return for one of their stars, the team has inexplicably been unable to evaluate their own postseason chances and chosen to be buyers when they should have been sellers. 

69 losses at the All-Star break is a clear message that the roster needs a reboot, and it allowed the team to not hesitate in jettisoning their most talented player in decades. The fact that the team has been bad since Opening Day has given fans plenty of time to resign themselves to this move, and hopefully they can focus on the excitement of adding a fun, talented young core, instead of the sorrow of losing a beloved figure on your favorite team. 

In the coming years, as the team fights for the top spot in the draft and finds themselves looking up at the hated Red Sox and Yankees in the AL East, hopefully they can look back on some of Manny's greatest hits in Baltimore and appreciate what they had in the superstar from Miami.

After all, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

Manny Machado could very well be playing in his final game in an Orioles uniform Tuesday night when he takes the field for the 89th Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat as a favorite to land the All-Star shortstop. 

Machado, 26, has gone back and forth on what he does and does not know as front office deals develop and speculation continues to grow. One thing he has made clear is that the rumors have not detracted from his enjoyment of being an All-Star.

Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles intend to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

For the latest news and conversation surrounding Machado's status and the Orioles, follow along on Twitter

RELATED LINKS: 

2018 MLB All-Star Guide 

Bryce Harper reflects on his baseball career 

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