During the National League Championship series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers, third baseman Manny Machado made questionable comments regarding his effort to run the bases, including the infamous line, “I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle.'”
In an exclusive interview with Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Machado backtracked on his comments, and wished he explained his initial comment a little clearer.
“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.
“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.”
Machado’s comments regarding his lack of hustle came at a questionable time, especially since he’s currently testing the free agent market for the first time in his career. Machado’s comments reportedly ‘troubled’ Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who said hustling isn’t just “important”, but also “essential”.
The 26-year-old’s lack of hustle wasn’t the only controversy that festered in October; Machado also kicked Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar in the ankle while running to first base.
It’s hard to gauge if the Yankees are willing to sign Machado given his previous track record, but by clarifying his comments, Machado definitely took a step in the right direction. Especially since it might once again increase his value on the free agent market.