In Game 3 of the World Series on Friday (GameTracker), Machado got caught watching a long fly ball that he thought was heading into the seats, only to watch it bang off the wall. He had to settle for a single and missed out on what looked like a potential double. The video:
Yikes. I didn't think that had a chance to get out off the bat -- to be fair, I've thought that about plenty of Machado fly balls over the years, only to watch them carry over the fence -- and, for what it's worth, Statcast says batted balls with similar exit velocity and launch angle leave the yard only 22 percent of the time.
Personally, I no longer have the energy to get worked up about players not running out routine ground balls that are outs 99.9 percent of the time. It would be nice if everyone ran out every ground ball, but that's not going to happen, so whatever. Not running that out though? In the World Series? Oof. That is a bad, bad look for Mr. Machado.
As expected, Machado got roasted on social media after his baserunning laziness, including by some current and former big leaguers. A sampling:
That was absolutely sorry. Seriously, who thinks that celebrating out of the box is more important than giving a little effort for your team in the freaking World Series? Especially when it honestly wasn’t even that close to being a homer.— Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler) October 27, 2018
Great hustle by machado 🙈— Jeff Francoeur (@JeffFrancoeur) October 27, 2018
Down 2 games in a series that requires you to win 4 to win the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP & Manny is standing on 1st base. Why? Don’t ask why ever again. He told you why.— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) October 27, 2018
Ken Griffey Jr. needs to make another commercial so he can scold Machado.— Mark Dondero (@MarkDondero) October 27, 2018
The playoffs are a new season. And the World Series is where it all comes to a head. Where every player raises their game, and takes effort and urgency to a new level. It's where pros become great, and where great players become legends!— Haunty Sparkles (@sparklesexpress) October 27, 2018
Manny Machado: pic.twitter.com/RdWA91kwOf
Baseball is more fun when Manny Machado pimps singles he thinks are dingers so let Manny Machado pimp singles he thinks are dingers— Matt Eitner (@mkeitner) October 27, 2018
Don't let the fact that Machado bat flipped a single distract you from the fact that Wilson Contreras bat flipped two walks in the NL wildcard game.— I'm A Sabres Fan (@Vergil3434) October 27, 2018
Machado's baserunning didn't really hurt the Dodgers there -- Cody Bellinger, the next batter hit, a routine fly ball to end the inning -- but still, that's a real bad look for a player who will be seeking a $300-plus million contract as a free agent in a few weeks. It's the World Series, Manny. Play hard. You never know if you'll ever get this chance again.