On a seemingly slow Tuesday morning, Manny Machado surprised fans by signing a $300 million, 10 year contract with the San Diego Padres. If you’re thinking, “this deal makes no sense for either side,” think again.

Actually don’t think again, because on paper, you’re right. From both the financial and baseball perspectives, it’s complete nonsense, but one sneaky factor makes this deal a “home run” for the slugging third basemen. Manny Machado doesn’t care about being a Padre, but his dream is to live in San Diego, and I think I know why.

Let’s start from the beginning. Manny was born in the Dominican Republic, a country that is abundant with animal wildlife. From there, he went to play minor league baseball for the Gulf Coast Orioles and the Aberdeen IronBirds and the Delmarva Shorebirds, all before making his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles. All of those teams are birds, and birds… are animals. Manny Machado clearly LOVES animals.

After a comfortable nine years with the four avian clubs, Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, his first non-animal based franchise. Immediately Machado found himself unhappy, and knew it wasn’t the place for him. Now you’re probably thinking, “Well I’ve never seen a Padre in a pet store either”, but you’re not thinking broad enough.

Despite the Padres being a mere team of homo sapiens, their location is what really matters. But since San Diego doesn’t quite sound like the epitome of indigenous animal life, why is San Diego Manny’s dream?

It’s all about that zoo. The San Diego Zoo, that is. What the city lacks in bountiful forest greenery, it makes up for in exotic captive species. With Pandas and Koalas and rare Tigers, it’s no wonder that other teams struggled to woo Mr. Machado. Throw in the close proximity to SeaWorld, and it’s a dream that can’t be matched.

You heard it hear first folks, it’s that simple. Manny Machado just really likes the zoo.

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