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, and don’t expect him to show any remorse or even deny it.
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 Athletic’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, Iâm not going to change, Iâm not the type of player thatâs going to be âJohnny Hustle,â and run down the line and slide to first base and â¦ you know, whatever can happen. Thatâs just not my personality, thatâs not my cup of tea, thatâs not who I am.
Should I have run on that pitch? Yeah â¦ but I didnât and I gotta pay the consequences for it. It does look bad. It looks terrible. I look back at the video and Iâm like, âWoah, what was I doing?â You know, just the emotions of the game â¦ Iâm the type of player that has stayed in the zone, Iâm playing and Iâm just in the zone.
On 3-0, Iâm trying to drive one out. I hit a 100 mph groundball (actually 76 mph) right into the shift, right to the shortstop â¦ before I even step out of the box, I look to the shortstop, he has the ball in his hands and Iâm like, âIâm out.â â¦ I mean, what am I going to do?
Should I have given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. (Itâs) my fault like always, I mean thatâs just my mentality when Iâm in the game. (There are) things that you learn, things that you gotta change. Iâve tried changing it for eight years and I still canât 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.