Machado: 'Great players get booed' in Bronx

May 27th, 2019

NEW YORK -- didn’t exactly spurn the Yankees this winter. He reportedly never received a contract offer from them, in fact.

That didn’t stop the Yankee Stadium faithful from voicing their displeasure with the Padres’ $300 million man.

Machado was booed heartily before each of his four at-bats in the Padres' 5-2 loss to the Yankees on Monday afternoon. He was greeted with a chorus of “overrated” as he stepped to the plate for the first time.

A longtime division rival from his seven seasons with Baltimore, Machado didn't seem to mind the boo birds. Speaking with reporters after the game, he said he's used to them by now.

"I get booed everywhere I go,” said Machado, who finished 1-for-4 with a double. "Great players get booed. It happens."

But were these boos -- from a sold-out Yankee Stadium crowd -- any different?

"A boo's a boo," Machado said. "We took the L. There's nothing worse than that."

As a throng of reporters approached Machado after the game, he quickly ruled any talk of his free agency off-limits. Many believed the Yankees might be an obvious suitor, but nothing materialized.

Instead, Machado preferred to keep his focus on the game and on the Padres, who are off to a 28-26 start. They're a surprise contender in the early National League Wild Card race, with one of the sport's youngest rosters.

"It's been pretty awesome to go out there and be a part of this great group that we have here," Machado said. "Couldn't be in a better place than being with these young kids playing great baseball."

Machado was hitless in his first three at-bats on Monday before a 111.2 mph rocket into the left-field corner in the ninth. That extended his road hitting streak to 12 games -- a career best and the longest active mark in the Majors.

By his lofty standards, Machado's numbers have been subpar this year. He's hitting .267/.347/.441 with nine homers. Solid, but unspectacular -- especially considering the franchise-record contract he signed in February.

Since the calendar flipped to May, however, Machado owns a .901 OPS. His double was the hardest-hit ball against Aroldis Chapman since Statcast began tracking in 2015. Given Machado's otherworldly abilities, Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn't seem all that surprised by the fan reaction in the Bronx.

"I mean, that’s a superstar player ... obviously a lot of talks around us, former division foe," Boone said. "I think that’s just baseball and how when you’re a great player, sometimes the visiting crowd lets you hear about it. So more a tribute to what a good player Manny is."

Likewise, Machado's teammates didn't seem to pay any mind.

"The difference from the other 28 parks we visit? There's no difference," said starter Matt Strahm, who struck out a career-high 10 Yankees in six innings.

"He gets that everywhere," Padres manager Andy Green said.

Added Machado: "We're here to play baseball. End of the day, that's all that matters."