Manny Machado is about to break the bank in free agency, but he knows teams will have questions that must be answered first.
One of those questions he’s looking to address right away is criticism over comments he made during the National League Championship Series, when the then-Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop told The Athletic that being “Johnny Hustle” is not his “cup of tea.”
“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 told MLB.com. “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.”
The Dodgers trailed the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 in the best-of-7 series. They went on to win the NLCS and reach the World Series, where they lost to the Boston Red Sox in five games.
In L.A.’s 4-3 victory in Game 2, Machado failed to run out a ground ball in a close game. In Milwaukee’s 4-0 win in Game 3, he made two questionable slides, the latter resulting in a double play.
“Obviously I’m not going to change,” Machado said to Ken Rosenthal during the NLCS. “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.”
Machado, 26, just completed his seventh season. The four-time All-Star came up with Baltimore in 2012 and was acquired by the Dodgers in July for five prospects.
“I know how I said it and how that came across, and it’s something I take responsibility for,” Machado says now. “I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have.”
-Field Level Media