Manny Machado
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

After Major League Baseball gives Aaron Judge a slap on the wrist, Manny Machado speaks out on tampering.

Baltimore Orioles superstar Manny Machado doesn’t think that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge trying to recruit him during a Spring Training game is something that Major League Baseball should get upset about.

I’ve told a lot of people they’d look good in black and orange as well, trying to get guys over here. It’s just part of the game,” he told the Associated Press, via ESPN. “You want to put the best team out there on your field, and if I’m a part of this team, I want to bring the best guys over here as much as I can. I want to get a ring as well.”

Well consider me absolutely shocked. Star players trying to recruit each other to make their teams better and compete at the highest level? Just unbelievable.

Of course players are recruiting each other. Every player wants to win. Every player wants the biggest stars in the league playing with them rather than against them. Players from different teams talk before and after games. They work out with each other. They playfully chirp each other on the field.

That holds especially true for Judge and Machado. Both of them are considered the face of their respective franchise. They play against each other nearly 20 times a year. Machado has been linked to the Yankees for months. The players obviously know what rumors are floating around the media about them, so it’s no secret that the Yankees have Machado circled as a free agent target after the season.

As far as anybody in the league office should be concerned, this is just harmless joking around between two fantastic ballplayers.

Unfortunately, when you hold the status of “most successful baseball franchise of all time” and are widely considered to be the World Series favorites, everybody loses their minds at the idea that you could potentially get even better. Judge’s mistake wasn’t telling Machado that he would look good in pinstripes, it was that he let the media know about it.

Had it been any player from any team besides the New York Yankees, nobody would have batted an eye at the notion of tampering. It would have been some light bantering between a couple of superstars.

The writing is on the wall folks. The Empire has a stronghold on the baseball galaxy. The Death Star is almost completely operational. The Rebels are desperately clinging to any sort of weakness they can find but no weaknesses exist. Faux outrage at Aaron Judge’s “tampering” isn’t nearly enough to blow up this battle station.

Lifetime ballplayer and Yankee fan. Strongly believe that the eye-test and advanced stats can be used together instead of against each other.