October 17, 2018

Machado Says Being 'Johnny Hustle' Is "Not My Cup Of Tea, That's Not Who I Am"

Ken Rosenthal writes in The Athletic that in NLCS Game 2, Manny Machado of the Dodgers did not run hard on a fourth-inning grounder to shortstop. Rosenthal then said Machado may have over-reacted to questions about his lack of effort by making two "questionable slides" into second base in Game 3.

(Jim Palmer, an announcer for the Orioles, Machado's old team, tweeted: "Once again Manny doesn't run hard. Down 0-1 in series, 0-0 game in 4th. Too tired to run hard for 90 feet. But wants the big $$ #pathetic"))

Before NLCS Game 4, Rosenthal spoke to Machado:
Whenever I see you and ask you how you're doing, you say, "I'm chillin'." I know that's your personality, that's how you are. But there was a ball the other night, and you didn't run hard. Manny, you know this, at this time of year people notice that kind of thing, so how would you explain it? What happened?

Machado:  I've been thinking about it and ... there's no excuse for it honestly. I've never given excuses for not running. I'm not hurt, there's no excuse but I've been the same player ... I've been doing this for eight years, I'm in The Show for eight years, I've done the same thing for eight years, I've been the same player. [Machado actually just completed his seventh season] Obviously I'm not going to change, I'm not the type of player that's going to be "Johnny Hustle," and run down the line and slide to first base ... That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am. Should I have run on that pitch? Yeah ... but I didn't and I gotta pay the consequences for it. It does look bad. It looks terrible. I look back at the video and I'm like, "Woah, what was I doing?" ... On 3-0, I'm trying to drive one out. I hit a 100 mph groundball [actually 76 mph] right into the shift, right to the shortstop ... Before I even step out of the box, I look to the shortstop, he has the ball in his hands and I'm like, "I'm out." ... I mean, what am I going to do? Should I have given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. [It's] my fault like always, I mean that's just my mentality when I'm in the game. [There are] things that you learn, things that you gotta change. I've tried changing it for eight years and I still can't figure it out but, one of these days I will.
Machado accepts some responsibility, explaining there is "no excuse" for his lack of hustle and that it looked "terrible". But what player in his right mind says, at any time, but especially during the postseason with his team down 1-2, that being "Johnny Hustle" is "not my cup of tea"? Who says that mindset is simply his "mentality" and he is "not going to change". Who admits that he has "tried changing" for almost a decade and maybe "one of these days" he will "learn" how to give "a little more effort"?

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