By DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) — Manny Machado is taking his affection for Skittles onto the baseball diamond.
No, he isn’t sticking a bag of the multi-colored candy in his back pocket instead of sunflower seeds.
Rather, the Baltimore Orioles third baseman is wearing insoles on his Air Jordan cleats that pay homage to the sweet treat.
Machado’s insoles are branded with rows and rows of Skittles, from heel to toe. He designed the pattern, and now he’s wearing it.
“I do like Skittles,” Machado said in the Baltimore clubhouse Wednesday. “If I put them on my cleats, that means they mean something to me.”
The insoles aren’t visible to fans, so it’s not as if Machado is promoting the product by wearing the unique cleats. His motivation is do bring the Orioles luck.
“I hope it’s lucky. Why not? These are the cleats for this year,” he said. “We do certain things for the team and for ourselves that people don’t really realize, just to get stuff going. We’ve got to keep it interesting. It’s a long grind.”
Machado’s bat and glove are considered to be more instrumental to Baltimore’s success. The three-time All-Star hit 37 home runs last year and finished fifth in the balloting for AL MVP.
Maybe a bricklayer or an electrician could have Skittles insoles, too. Machado says it’s more of a baseball thing.
“We’re lucky,” he said. “It’s one of the perks of being a big leaguer. You get to do random things that the general public can’t do.”
Machado doesn’t eat a bag of Skittles every day. He does, however, consume his share of the little fruit-flavored candy pieces.
“My wife gives me a goody bag every road trip and makes sure she puts some in there,” he said. “I eat them quite a bit.”
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