Manny Machado was the subject of intense criticism while playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2018 postseason, and he has no one to blame but himself.
Machado was seen not hustling on multiple occasions, which is certainly not a good look when you are playing in games that carry the significance of a World Series. Machado also made matters worse by outright saying that he is never going to be ‘Johnny Hustle.’
Now a free agent, Machado walked back those comments a bit and offered some clarification as he has the desire to sign one of the most lucrative contracts in MLB history.
Whether or not Machado cost himself money remains to be seen, but one anonymous general manager believes that teams will proceed with caution due to the comments he made, via Scott Miller of Bleacher Report:
“Now, I can’t prognosticate if it’s going to cost him 5, 10 or a more meaningful percent of what he could have earned. It may cost him a suitor. And that may not ultimately have an impact on his salary when all is said and done. But I think it’s going to be tough for him to make that type of a statement and then ask to be paid like the highest-paid player in the history of the game.”
Another GM had another way of looking at it, as he believes Machado’s lack of hustle contributes to him being able to play more games, which is more important:
“I don’t know Manny, and his choice of words may not have been the best, but when I look at the games-played column, he doesn’t miss games. I’ve seen where guys are ‘I’m sore with this. I can’t go. I can’t play,’ and OK, they play hard when they play, but they play 120 games. I’m not trying to make excuses for him, but that’s undeniable,” the GM said. “The fact that he does make himself available to play day-in and day-out for a long period of time.”
Machado has played 156 regular-season games or more in each of the last four seasons and five of the last six. So that second statement definitely carries some importance for Machado when he makes his pitch to teams to sign him.
The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are among the teams with reported interest, although they have both expressed their concern due to his postseason showing and remarks.