Two of my “guys,” Manny Machado and Roger Federer, are not at their best at the moment.
Manny has been relegated to batting seventh in the Oriole’s batting order, a demotion from his usual position of batting second, on the strength, or weakness in this case, of having a batting average of .214. More shocking is that he has committed six errors in 25 games thus far this season, compared to 13 errors in 156 games last season, when he won a “platinum” glove award as the premiere fielding third baseman in the major leagues. Are there lingering effects of his knee injury hampering his performance? The dreaded sophomore slump (though he’s not really a sophomore, having now played in 232 games in the majors)? Anyway you slice it, it hasn’t been a good season thus far, but there’s still a long way to go.
Roger, after losing his first match following the birth of twins boys Leo and Lenny, has won his first three matches at the French Open, but to my eye he’s not playing particularly well, or with much excitement or, dare I say it, joy. He is playing at a high level, to be sure, but nothing even remotely close to the level he’ll have to summon up to be competitive against Djokovic or Nadal. His match today against Dmitry Tursunov was notable for the extraordinary number of break point chances he had against Tursunov (21) and the paltry number he was able to cash in on: 4.
Of course, Roger has the best excuse going: Leo and Lenny are only three and a half weeks old, and there must be a fair amount of chaos in his domestic life. Even if each baby gets his own separate nanny – as the two Federer girls have had throughout their life – dealing with four nannies would have it complications. Amazingly, Mirka Federer has been sitting in Roger’s box for all three of his matches. She must be a wreck.
Anyway, don’t put your money on Roger to win, but appreciate that he’s still able to string sentences and a few good points together.
You can put your money on Manny to improve this season. Don’t know when it will happen, but it will happen.