Say what you want about Manny Machado, but don’t ever accuse the Los Angeles Dodgers star of not hustling.
… Actually, you totally can accuse him of not hustling. Just don’t expect Machado to deny it or show any remorse.
The Dodgers third baseman has taken heat for his conduct during the National League Championship Series. He was ripped for not running out a grounder in Game 2 against the Milwaukee Brewers, and had a pair of bizarre slides into second base in Game 3 that seemed to be aggressive reactions to those who criticized him.
Prior to Game 3, The Ahletic’s Ken Rosenthal asked Machado about his reputation for lollygagging. The superstar’s response was refreshingly honest, but also embarrassing and beyond baffling.
Check out this mess:
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 and … you know, whatever can happen. 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?’ You know, just the emotions of the game … I’m the type of player that has stayed in the zone, I’m playing and I’m just in the zone.
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.
Good luck forming a take out of that.
Sure, you could criticize Machado for being indefensibly lazy. But you also have to respect his candor and apparent refusal to give a damn.
Thumbnail photo via Jon Durr/USA TODAY Sports Images