Manny Machado is about to be a free agent and sign one of the largest contracts in baseball history (probably). However, potential employers should know that paying nine-figures for one of the game’s best young hitters might not include any extra effort.
Machado was criticized for not running hard on a routine ground ball to shortstop during Game 2 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and the Brewers. It’s not the first time he’s drawn that sort of negative attention, either.
— Jim Palmer (@Jim22Palmer) October 13, 2018
In a new interview with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that will air on FS1 on Tuesday, Machado admitted that he’s just not wired that way.
“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 said.
He also admitted, though, that maybe he should have stepped up the effort a little.
“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.”
Machado, who was traded to the Dodgers from the Orioles over the summer, was also in the middle of two controversial slides at second base during Game 3 as he attempted to break up two different double plays. One of the plays was reviewed and both runners were called out, costing the Dodgers a chance to score some runs.