On Monday, Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres completed an 11-9 victory against the Colorado Rockies. With that, the Padres became the final team of the 2023 season to put together four straight wins.
The stat, while fairly esoteric, was indicative of the nightmarish Padres season. Despite having the third-highest payroll in baseball, they will miss the playoffs by a country mile.
The fact that the Padres have some of the best players in the modern game bemuses many. Any team that boasts a roster with names like Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado should, by all rights, have a record better than 73-78.
“Manny Machado has played through ankle, elbow, hand injuries the past 2 seasons, and instead of appreciating him, some fans are saying he’s doing it to “pad stats” Padding stats when he already got his contract??? This fanbase is braindead sometimes” – Tony
Throughout the season, many pundits attempted to explain the team’s woes. Recently, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune called into question Manny Machado’s leadership abilities. In June, Acee also alledged that the San Diego Padres had a toxic clubhouse, impacting their ability to win games.
In response, Machado slammed the accusations brought forth in Acee’s piece. On 97.3 The Fan, the All-Star third baseman claimed that clubhouse issues were not to blame and that he simply did not play well enough:
“I think at the end of the day that’s what it is. A lot of quotes of that story were left out, and everyone always has their own narrative that they’re trying to persuade. … The real point of this is we didn’t play good baseball. I didn’t play good baseball.”
After Manny Machado hit .298/.366/.531 with 32 home runs and 102 RBIs last year, he finished second in the NL MVP voting, narrowly losing out to Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals.
After the stellar performance, Machado was rewarded with an 11-year, $300 million contract extension, the largest in team history.
Time is running out for Manny Machado and Padres’ star-studded roster
Despite flashes of brilliance from the roster, the team’s $250 million payroll can only stay together for so long if they cannot win.
Now 20 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, GM AJ Preller will have some difficult decisions to make in offseason. Whether or not Machado will shoulder any blame remains to be seen.