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Manny Machado Brings Chess (and Hits) to the Padres

  • May 13, 2022

It is the entire package of slugger, star fielder, lineup staple and chess kingpin that has elevated him into a team leader for a club that has had its issues with that in the recent past.

“You see him from afar and you have your opinions about him,” Manager Bob Melvin, who joined the Padres this off-season, said of Machado, whose temper has led to some issues in the past. “And then you get here and see what he’s all about. He is somewhat vocal, definitely leads by example. He shows up to play every single day. He performs every single day. There are subtle things about him that scream leadership.”

Brdar, who started playing chess after watching “The Queen’s Gambit” two winters ago, suggested there can be a link between chess and hitting.

“You’re going to make a bad move in chess, and a lot of times it’s how you recover from that instead of letting it leak into two, three, four bad moves in a row,” Brdar said. “That’s similar to hitting.

“You’re going to chase a pitch here and there, you’re going to miss a mistake here and there. But more often than not it’s about what you do the next two, three, four pitches after that, or the next two, three, four at-bats after that. I think there are definite parallels.”

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