When Manny Machado was announced to the sellout crowd Sunday night before the first home playoff game at Camden Yards in 15 years, the Orioles' rookie third baseman jogged to the first base foul line.
And then he subtly tipped his cap to the Yankees, just a quick acknowledgement to the other team. If you blinked, you missed it.
“Yeah, I went out there and waved over there to [Joe] Girardi and Derek [Jeter] and their teammates just out of respect,” Machado said. “They are also in the playoffs, and I just wanted to tip them off. We’re in the postseason and you’ve got to tip your hat over there.”
No big deal. But, remember, this kid is 20 years old. This was his second major league playoff game. Pretty impressive awareness.
So what was Sunday like for him?
“Great. Great experience,” he said after the Yankees' 7-2 victory. “It didn’t turn out how I wanted it to, with the loss. But we’ll go out there [Monday] and keep fighting and keep enjoying this.”
Machado was drafted just two-plus years ago out of a Miami high school. At the time, he was called the next Alex Rodriguez, another Miami shortstop whom Machado grew up imitating.
The two have become friends. And, on Sunday, their teams were facing each other in the playoffs – and they were the starting third basemen.
“It’s crazy, crazy how it works out. … Just to have this experience to be in the playoffs at a young age,” Machado said. “You can’t get it any better.”