Manny Machado admits he doesn’t hustle: ‘That’s not my cup of tea’
Manny Machado is well aware that he has been criticized for not hustling throughout the 2018 season and into the playoffs, but the Los Angeles Dodgers star says there is nothing he can do about it.
Machado could, of course, start running harder on grounders or sprinting out of the box instead of admiring his well-hit balls, but that simply isn’t his style. We know this because he openly admitted it during an interview with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic this week.
“Obviously I’m not going to change, 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,” Machado said. “That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”
Like he did several times during the regular season, Machado chose not to run hard on a grounder to Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS. He was then mocked for his poor attempts at sliding into second base during Game 3 on Monday night.
Machado said he knows he “looks terrible” when he goes back and watches the film, but he simply can’t change the way he plays. He added that he’s not going to run hard when he scorches a ground ball into the shift that is in the shortstop’s glove before he even exits the batter’s box.
“I’ve tried changing it for eight years and I still can’t figure it out but, one of these days I will,” Machado said.
Machado already has three home runs and nine RBI in his first postseason with the Dodgers, so fans are hardly about to turn on him. Still, he was ripped by an MLB legend during Game 2 of the NLCS and had his own manager speak with him about not hustling before the playoffs began. It’s not a great look to dog it down to first, and it’s an even worse look to say you simply can’t bring yourself to hustle.