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The Sports Report: Manny Machado signing means Padres might finish third this season

The Sports Report: Manny Machado signing means Padres might finish third this season
Manny Machado (Jae C. Hong / AP)

Howdy everyone, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Los Angeles Times daily sports newsletter. My name is Houston Mitchell and I’m your host for the festivities. Subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here.

Let’s get to it.

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Manny Machado signs

And the winner of the Manny Machado Derby is…… the San Diego Padres?

Machado, who finished the season with the Dodgers last season and helped them get to the World Series, agreed to a 10-year, $300-million deal with the Padres on Tuesday.

Machado hit 37 home runs with a .905 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the Baltimore Orioles and the Dodgers last season.

"We've been through a process here over the course of the last few months in the offseason trying to get our club better," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. "It's been pretty out in the open in terms of some of the pursuit of the bigger free agents in the last few weeks. Our intentions have always been real in terms of trying to line up and sign somebody who helps us both in the short term and the long term."

So what does this mean? It means the Padres might finish fourth, or even third, instead of last this season. But it could have longer-term ramifications, as the Padres grade out as having the top-ranked minor league system in baseball, according to most experts.

So if the Padres play their cards right, they could have a formidable team in a a couple of seasons. But when have the Padres ever played their cards right?

And now Dodgers fans can rightfully boo Machado when he tries to injure a first baseman or fail to run out ground balls.

This puts the signing Bryce Harper by some team on deck as Commissioner Rob Manfred suggests that the heated rhetoric unleashed by players during the offseason might soon fade.

Dodgers

Dodgers legend Don Newcombe passed away Tuesday at age 92. We will have more on him in Thursday’s Dodgers Dugout newsletter (which you can sign up for here). In the meantime, read this wonderful tribute by Bill Plaschke.

The team also announced that Clayton Kershaw will start on opening day for the ninth consecutive year.

“It just means I’m old I guess,” Kershaw said. “I mean, you don’t ever want to make light of the situation. It’s very cool. The cliche is it’s just another game, and it is. But I guess opening day means a lot, symbolizes a lot of different things. I’m excited about it. It will be cool.”

Angels

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Angels owner Arte Moreno said Monday he is interested in buying the two local Fox Sports outlets — FS West and Prime Ticket — that air his team’s games.

As Bill Shaikin writes, the development comes at a time when the Angels have revived negotiations with the city of Anaheim about renovating or replacing Angel Stadium. By 2020, when the contract of franchise icon Mike Trout expires, Moreno could persuade him to stay not only by offering the richest deal in team history but by showing how the team could finance sustained success using the revenue generated by owning television stations and, perhaps, shops, restaurants and offices surrounding the ballpark.

Moreno said he had long considered buying a television channel and making the Angels its anchor.

“I feel, much like our radio, we can pick and choose how we surround ourselves and how we market, and make sure that we can make it affordable for people to continue to communicate with us,” he said, “whether it’s on air, or through cable, or streaming, etc.”

Meanwhile, Maria Torres says the Angels have way too many candidates for their infield spots.

Chargers

We’re in the middle of the NFL’s franchise and transition tag period, but don’t look for the Chargers to use a tag on anyone.

That means no tag for defensive linemen Corey Liuget, Brandon Mebane, Damion Square and Darius Philon, defensive back Adrian Phillips, linebacker Denzel Perryman, wide receiver Tyrell Williams and tight end Antonio Gates.

Though the Chargers have varying degrees of interest in each of their free agents, the cost of tagging a player makes such a move unlikely, Jeff Miller writes.

Odds and Ends

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Ryan Miller and the Ducks shut out the Minnesota Wild, 4-0…. Longtime teammates help make Long Beach State volleyball a national power…. Birmingham to play San Fernando for City Section Division I soccer championship…. Friends and roommates, UCLA basketball's backcourt of the future is nearly inseparable.

Who goofed?

That would be me. Earlier this week, I wrote that Farhan Zaidi was president of baseball operations for the Dodgers when I of course meant Giants. And yesterday I said the Cardinals won the World Series the year after Albert Pujols left. They made the World Series in 2013, but lost to Boston. I’d like to find someone to blame for this. Let’s see, I’ll blame my dog for eating my notes. That always worked in school.

Scheduling note

I have written this newsletter now for 312 consecutive days (that may be a slight exaggeration) so I am going to take this weekend off. No newsletter Saturday or Sunday. Back in action Monday.

Best sports movie

We are at the semifinal round of our reader poll to pick the best sports movie of all time. All of the movies voted through to this round appear on the ballot. You vote for your best five by clicking here or by emailing me here. Those five will advance to the final round starting Thursday.

The semifinalists are:

Blue Chips

Brian’s Song

Bull Durham

Caddyshack

Chariots of Fire

Cinderella Man

Field of Dreams

He Got Game

Hoop Dreams

Hoosiers

Jerry Maguire

The Karate Kid (1984)

A League of Their Own

The Longest Yard (1974)

Major League

The Mighty Ducks

Million Dollar Baby

Miracle

Moneyball

The Natural

The Pride of the Yankees

Raging Bull

Remember the Titans

Rocky

Rudy

Seabiscuit

Slap Shot

Tin Cup

White Men Can’t Jump

Born on this date

1926: Gold-medal winning pole vaulter Bob Richards

1934: Race car driver Bobby Unser

1942: NHL player Phil Esposito

1963: NBA player Charles Barkley

And finally

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me here. If you want to subscribe, click here.

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