Manny Machado brings chess (and hits) to the Padres

Machado agrees, noting that “you are training your brain to do something right. People read, people make little puzzles to activate their minds ”.

For Machado, chess fills that role.

He and Brdar play “slow” games on the board in front of Machado’s locker: if the hitting coach walks through the clubhouse and sees that Manny has made a move, for example, Brdar will stop and make his, and vice versa . Then, after the batters’ meeting or batting practice, they will play longer games on the scoreboard in the player room.

“Right now he’s playing a fianchetto with his bishop,” Brdar said of Machado’s opening strategy in many games. “So he likes his bishop to have the whole diagonal view of the whole board.”

“This is my move,” Machado said. “When I saw ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, I didn’t know the names at the time. I still don’t do much. I know some of them. But it is only about openings. If you put yourself in a good position and start attacking a certain way and stick to it, you can do it. It’s one of the moves I use the most. “

Brdar proudly reports that he learned to block that move. Machado sadly admits that in their games so far this season, the manager he hit has won three times and Machado only once, with a draw.

“But it’s a long year,” Machado said. “Things change. It’s just like baseball. Go on a hot streak, go on a cold streak. I’m in my cold streak right now.”