Machado talks of ‘good at­ten­tion’

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - WORLD SERIES - Gabe Lac­ques

LOS AN­GE­LES – A month un­like any other in Manny Machado’s pro­fes­sional ca­reer — filled with chaos and clutch play, hubris and heel turns, all of it his do­ing — ended when he swung meekly at a back-foot slider from Chris Sale.

The mo­ment that crowned the Bos­ton Red Sox cham­pi­ons ended Machado’s three-month stint as as Los An­ge­les Dodger, cast­ing him into a win­ter that will make him very rich — and is­sue a ref­er­en­dum on his play­ing ca­reer and a play­off run filled with no short­age of unique be­hav­ior.

And so af­ter Bos­ton’s 5-1, Game 5 vic­tory, Machado was left to pon­der this un­ex­pected chap­ter in his pro­fes­sional ca­reer — and the effect it will have on a free agent pe­riod that could make him a $300 mil­lion man.

Some top­ics had more clar­ity than oth­ers.

Such as his time as a Dodger, which be­gan with a trade from Bal­ti­more at the All-Star break: “I can’t be more thank­ful. What a great or­ga­ni­za­tion, what a great group of guys. Get­ting traded halfway through the year is al­ways tough. The front office, ev­ery sin­gle team­mate in here has been beyond amaz­ing. I was very truly grate­ful to be a part of this and be a part of what went on.”

Would re-sign­ing with them be in the cards? “I can’t even talk about that right now.”

And what of this Oc­to­ber, when Machado hit three big home runs but finished with a 4-for-22 World Series, spiked a pair of play­ers, ap­par­ently ce­mented his legacy as a “dirty player,” ad­mit­ted he’ll never be “Johnny Hus­tle” and com­manded the at­ten­tion of fans and me­dia?

“Ev­ery­one’s go­ing to have their own opin­ions on ev­ery­thing,” he said. “The only thing that mat­ters is these 25 guys in here. We play this game for ev­ery sin­gle player in here . ... I guess it’s good at­ten­tion. That’s all you guys. Look at all the cam­eras.”

Of course, a 26-year-old short­stop-third base­man with a ca­reer .822 OPS and four sea­sons of at least 33 homers will have plenty of suit­ors — Oc­to­ber an­tics not­with­stand­ing.

“It’s not up to me,” he said. “It’s not a de­ci­sion I can’t make right now. Just re­mem­ber this mo­ment, this great cou­ple months we had here and see what hap­pens.”

What­ever that is, it will surely be in­ter­est­ing. Machado seems bent on en­sur­ing as much.

JAYNE KAMIN-ONCEA/USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Manny Machado be­comes a free agent af­ter the sea­son.

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