Manny Machado further tarnished his reputation during the playoffs for what was perceived as dirty play and a lack of hustle, and the list of teams that are interested in signing him this winter may be dwindling because of it.
In an appearance on WFAN Thursday, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported that at least one team with pockets deep enough to sign Machado has “sworn off” the star shortstop. When the hosts speculated that the team might be the Philadelphia Phillies, Heyman would neither confirm nor deny it.
This isn’t the first we have heard about a team being turned off by Machado’s antics, as the New York Yankees are said to still be interested but less excited about Machado now than they were when they tried to trade for him over the summer.
It’s possible that the team that has “sworn off” Machado is the last one he played for, as he appeared to bid farewell to the Los Angeles Dodgers with a farewell message on Instagram this week.
Machado appeared to spike first basemen on multiple occasions during the playoffs, and he also recently admitted that he is not big on hustling. While his talent is undeniable, you can understand why certain teams wouldn’t be willing to invest $300 million in a player with those types of character questions.
- Manny Machado
Manny Machado thanked the Los Angeles Dodgers and seemed to bid farewell to the organization in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
On the day the Boston Red Sox held their World Series victory parade, Machado likely said goodbye to the National League champions. On Instagram, Machado thanked the Dodgers for believing in him and called it an “honor” to wear Dodger Blue.
View this post on Instagram
I’d like to thank the Los Angeles Dodgers organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play for a World Series title. Wearing that iconic Dodger Blue everyday was truly an honor. To Doc, the coaching staff and the boys, it was a privilege going into battle with all of you! Something I’ll never forget!! Thank you to the Dodgers staff and front office for welcoming me and my wife with open arms from day one. To the Dodger Faithful and Pantone 294, you guys are amazing! 50,000 strong, bleeding Dodger Blue night in and night out. Thank you for making my experience as a Dodger, one I will cherish forever. I know we didn’t achieve our goal of bringing a championship back to Chavez Ravine, but there is no doubt in my mind that with this group of guys a World Series Title is on the horizon. Gracias por hacerme sentir como en casa. El Ministro
A post shared by @ machados13 on
“I’d like to thank the Los Angeles Dodgers organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play for a World Series title. Wearing that iconic Dodger Blue everyday was truly an honor. To Doc, the coaching staff and the boys, it was a privilege going into battle with all of you! Something I’ll never forget!! Thank you to the Dodgers staff and front office for welcoming me and my wife with open arms from day one. To the Dodger Faithful and Pantone 294, you guys are amazing! 50,000 strong, bleeding Dodger Blue night in and night out. Thank you for making my experience as a Dodger, one I will cherish forever. I know we didn’t achieve our goal of bringing a championship back to Chavez Ravine, but there is no doubt in my mind that with this group of guys a World Series Title is on the horizon,” Machado wrote.
The Dodgers received Machado via a trade with the Baltimore Orioles prior to this year’s trade deadline. Having lost shortstop Corey Seager to Tommy John surgery early in the season, Los Angeles brought in Machado to fill the void and help the Dodgers make a run at a World Series title. The move almost worked as the Dodgers reached the World Series for the second year in a row but fell short against Boston in five games.
Machado will be one of the most sought-after free agents on the market this winter despite his antics on the field. Based on his social media post, it appears he will not be returning to Los Angeles.
- Manny Machado
There is continued evidence that, while Manny Machado is still going to make himself a very wealthy man this offseason, he may have cost himself some suitors this postseason.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the New York Yankees are now “lukewarm” on Machado as a result of his postseason antics, including play viewed by some as dirty and significant concerns about his hustle.
Martino says the baseball operations department is unlikely to issue a full recommendation and go all-in for Machado. The Yankees still have interest, however, and are expected to monitor the market, but have more concerns about the shortstop than they did when trying to trade for him during the season.
Even in Game 4, Machado was engaging in some controversial antics. Reports indicate that the Yankees may not be the only team wary of going all-in on Machado, though a contract well over $200 million is still likely in his future.
Manny Machado somehow found time to blow a bubble with his gum during the tensest moment of Game 4 of the World Series — at a time when his singular focus should have been trying to beat out a hit — and pulled another dirty move.
Machado came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning against Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, who had already allowed a 2-run home run in the inning. Justin Turner had just singled, meaning Machado had a chance to get a rally going.
Machado grounded a 2-1 pitch down the third-base line. Rafael Devers went to his backhand side for a tough play and threw across the diamond, barely getting Machado out. Given the speed of the grounder and how long it took Devers to get the ball before making his throw, it seemed like the runner should have beaten out the ball. Instead, Machado was blowing a bubble and came up short.
World Series. Game 4. Game on the line.
Manny Machado is blowing bubbles. pic.twitter.com/5spBqoLDfo
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 28, 2018
How was Machado blowing a bubble at that moment? Though he was running hard, he did not appear to get the best break out of the box. Oh, and as if that weren’t enough, he also stepped on Steve Pearce’s heel, similar to his dirty play against the Brewers.
THIS IS NOT OK. the league needs to do something about Machado. pic.twitter.com/jTFR0LzXkh
— megan BREWERS NL CENTRAL CHAMPIONS brown (@thatgirlondeck) October 28, 2018
The Los Angeles Dodgers ended up losing 9-6, blowing a 4-0 lead in the process to fall behind 3-1 in the World Series.
For a guy whose lack of hustle persists as an issue during the playoffs, this will be extraordinarily frustrating. He may even be costing himself suitors in free agency.
What should have been a postseason opportunity to show off on a big stage has turned out to be quite the opposite for Manny Machado.
The Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop has been criticized for a lack of effort at times, despite the fact that he’s set to become a free agent after the season. While he’s still very likely to get a massive payday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Saturday that the issues he’s created for himself could definitely have an impact on the number of suitors, and has raised concern among some teams.
There is a strong undertow of reaction from within the MLB community about Machado's effort in this postseason, and his comments about effort. He'll be paid plenty in the end, but his play has created a lot of questions. The volume of high-end bidders might be diminished.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 27, 2018
Machado pimped what turned out to be a single in Game 3, which may have cost him a base and was at the very least hugely embarrassing. It’s not the first issue with effort he’s had this postseason, and he’s openly admitted that he’s not a hustle guy. Add in the fact that he’s been accused of dirty play and he has some serious concerns heading into free agency that may scare some teams off and limit how expansive his market is.
Manny Machado’s antics have been one of the dominant storylines of this year’s playoffs, and now he’s taking time to respond to the latest controversy.
The Los Angeles Dodgers infielder was the target of the Boston Red Sox’s ire this week when Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie said that he saw Machado relaying signs to hitters from second base during Game 2 of the World Series.
Speaking with the media on Saturday prior to Game 4 of the series, Machado addressed the allegations.
“Always. People always have to say something,” said the four-time All-Star, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. “I’ll play ball and that’s all I can do. Play for my team. That’s it.”
To be clear, Machado’s alleged tactics are not against the rules — sign-stealing is an accepted and time-honored piece of baseball gamesmanship, just as long as it is not aided by video technology or anything similar. However, for a player who continues to rub people the wrong way this postseason, it is inevitable that such behavior by him would attract some extra scrutiny.
Machado hit a ball off the wall in the 6th inning of Game 3, but only ended up on first after admiring it a little bit too much. Some critics said the play loomed large, as they felt Machado could have been in scoring position with two outs in what was a 1-0 game at that point.
Machado disagreed with the latter assertion, but admitted he was embarrassed by the fact that it happened.
“That was very, very, very, very poor baserunning by me,” Machado said, via Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “I probably wasn’t going to be on second base, but very embarrassing.”
Machado has openly admitted he doesn’t like to hustle, but this wasn’t so much a lack of hustle as it was simply admiring a fly ball that wasn’t hit far enough to be admired. It’s another chapter in a postseason that hasn’t done much for his reputation.