Manny Machado wants his new team; or perhaps new teammates, to know that he’s the type to play hard and hustle. Machado recently clarified his comments from the 2018 postseason with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was then that he made a remark about never being ‘Johnny Hustle’ (do you know him?).
Machado told Mark Feinsand of MLB.com the following:
“When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn’t come across how I meant it,” Machado said. “For me, I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.
Perhaps Machado has seen the light – and will play hard the rest of his career instead of periods of half-speed. However, it’s more likely that the DNA instilled in Machado is going to remain as-is. People and players are the way they are for a reason. With that, each player has his own style and Machado’s is a controlled, slow-speed with some grace at times. His game is smooth, but he may never look visually like he’s playing ‘hard’.
“But I know how I said it and how that came across, and it’s something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have.”
It remains to be seen if Machado’s style of play will be a detractor for teams that will bid on his services this winter. Recently, news broke that the Yankees had concern with Machado’s ‘hustle’ comments. Moreover, one can be sure that if one team has a concern; there are several.
Still, it’s likely that Machado finds someone willing to give him at least a $300 million dollar contract. He has the type of talent that is worth rolling the dice on – which makes it unlikely he changes his style of play in the long-run. Despite what comments make it to the press.
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