PEORIA, Ariz. – The news about Manny Machado signing with the San Diego Padres resonates beyond fans and into the locker room. FOX 5 spoke with some of the 26-year-old's new teammates at Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona.
Poway native and outfielder Alex Dickerson spoke about how the news affected him in more ways than one.
“As a player it’s awesome and quite frankly as a fan growing up in San Diego all these years, you never got to see us really going after the big fish like that and it shows how far we’ve come and how much we’re really pushing to win now,” Dickerson said.
“I’m excited about it. He’s a really good player,” second baseman Ian Kinsler said. “He’s somebody that makes the team better. He plays both sides of the ball really well -- defensively, offensively. He’s a smart base runner. So we’re all excited to have a guy like that.”
“I don’t know Manny but I can tell you I’d much rather have him on my team than face him,” pitcher Cal Quantrill said.
“He’s arguably one of the best players in the world. So to have him in our clubhouse playing for our team, I think we’re really fortunate,” infielder Greg Garcia said. “We can’t wait for him to get here and we’re just excited to have him as a teammate.”
But questions remain about Machado as a player. Machado was once quoted saying that hustling wasn’t his "cup of tea" and was fined last season for kicking an opponent.
Team manager Andy Green focused on one's perspective when asked about playing dirty and hustling.
"We're going to play with edge," Green said. "If people look at us and think we play dirty because we play with edge, then I really don't care. I don't think our guys care. We need more edge in our clubhouse. One-hundred-sixty-two games in 180 days is taxing. And there are moments in time where you don’t want Eric Hosmer running a hundred percent down the line, flying and wasting his energy on something where he knows he's going to be out. That's not saying we're going to play lazy baseball, we're going to play with energy and we're going to play with passion. But that doesn't mean it's going to be uniform in every single facet all the way across. We want certain guys' skill sets to show and when that's your skill set we want to see that every single day."