A-Rod proud of protégé Machado

A-Rod proud of protégé Machado

BALTIMORE -- Alex Rodriguez never considered that his offseason workout partner might stand in the way of his pursuit of a World Series ring, but that's exactly what the Orioles' Manny Machado will try to do in the American League Division Series.

Rodriguez and Machado have worked out together during past winters on the University of Miami campus, with the 20-year-old Machado having grown up idolizing Rodriguez and later tapping the three-time AL Most Valuable Player Award winner for advice on playing third base in the big leagues.

"He's just a great kid," Rodriguez said. "He's got a great approach and he's got a very, very bright future and a great attitude. What he's been able to do at 20 years old just makes me very proud of him."

Machado, who wears uniform No. 13 like Rodriguez, batted .262 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 51 games for Baltimore this season. Like Rodriguez, he was once a shortstop who moved to third base, and he has said that he modeled his game after A-Rod's for years.

"It's funny," Rodriguez said. "I came up idolizing Cal Ripken. Now he's over there in the same position Cal was at, so there's some irony there. And he's a great kid; he's a Miami kid. I wish him the best -- just not too much this series."