By the end of Tuesday night, Manny Machado scored the winning run on a Cody Bellinger single in the 13th inning as the Dodgers walked off the Brewers to tie the NLCS at 2-2. However, his decision to clatter into the ankle of Jesus Aguilar in the 10th inning is the thing most people are talking about on Wednesday morning instead.
Machado hit a routine groundball to shortstop, and was throw out at first by at least two full steps. Aguilar’s foot wasn’t exactly crowding the base, but Machado decided to “accidentally” trip into it and give the Brewers’ first baseman a swift kick in the ankle.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) October 17, 2018
What the hell was Machado thinking? He’s already drawn criticism in this NLCS for two late slides into second base, attempting to break up double plays (and was called for interference on one of them). All of this is happening at the same time as a new piece in The Athletic quotes Machado saying he’s “not Johnny Hustle” in response to criticism he garnered for not running out a different ground ball out.
It seems like Machado is in the middle of a full-fledged heel turn for some reason. Not that we care, because the drama and controversy fuels our love for sports even more. But Machado is at the very end of a contract year, and will become one of the most coveted free agents in baseball this winter. So why is he pulling these antics now, when they will probably cost him money in the offseason?
Baseball is a mystery, sometimes.