My wife and I received our second booster last week. The original vaccination and the first booster did little to me as far as side effects. My shoulder was slightly sore and that was for one day, no biggie. But that second booster? That thing kicked me in the teeth. That was a gut punch from Mike Tyson. I was down and out for two days. I didn’t want to move because everything was sore. Every injury I ever sustained for my entire life flared back up and reminded me I’ve had a pretty rough go as far as injuries. Everything hurt. It was so bad and I didn’t think anything could be worse. Fortunately I finally started to feel better by the weekend.
And then yesterday happened. My best friend, Manny Machado, snapped his ankle slipping on the bag running through first base. One camera angle made it look like his foot was just dangling there and I about threw up. Father’s Day brunch was almost all over the coffee table. Would have been an unforgivable waste of mimosas. But I held it together. I grabbed my own ankle and yelled “No!” like Steve Carell in the The Office meme for a few minutes. Then the trainers helped Manny off the field and I was both numb and sad. It was like I was rapidly working through the seven stages of grief for some strange reason. I wanted to start bargaining with the baseball gods if only Manny could be day to day and not hit the IL.
Bally Sports San Diego played a video of Kennedy Voit being adorable and then her dad Luke hit an absolute bomb deep into the left field stands and I felt a little better. Eric Hosmer grounded out and I knew things could return to normal, just not quite the same. I watched the rest of the game as Sergio Alcántara took Manny’s spot at third and batting third in the lineup. He’s a pretty solid defender but he is no Machado at the plate. Unfortunately for the Padres, nobody approaches what Manny can do at the plate. Well, Fernando Tatis Jr. can, but welp.
It was announced CJ Abrams was on his way from El Paso to join the Padres in San Diego. They also announced Manny’s x-rays showed no bones were broken on the play. That is hopeful because a break would most likely have ended his season. What a season it has been. The Padres have been flirting with first place in the NL West as Machado has been flirting with an MVP season. His 4.3 fWAR leads MLB. He is on pace to challenge Kevin Brown’s ‘98 record of 9.6 fWAR for most as a Padre. Tony Gwynn never had a season above 8 wins. Neither did Dave Winfield. Manny has been phenomenal.
Most likely the Padres will play Abrams at short and Kim will slide to third in Machado’s absence. Voit will move up to bat third and Eric Hosmer will move to clean-up. Let that sink in. The Padres will bat a guy who has a June slash line of .186/.246/.237 with no HRs fourth in their batting order. An .051 ISO is laughable. If anyone felt like laughing about this situation. The Padres will have to lean on their pitching even more while Manny recuperates. Not an easy task for the staff as Joe Musgrove is currently out due to COVID protocol. COVID sucks, in case no one has noticed.
So hurry back Manny. The team needs you. San Diego needs you. Even parts of Texas needs you. We need you to get well, and be pain free. So you in turn can take away our pain. Because until you return, everything just isn’t right. Everything hurts.