Dodgers' Machado admits he doesn't hustle: 'Not my cup of tea'
No one is perfect. Not even Manny Machado when he steps onto a baseball field.
The Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop admitted on Monday that while there are reasons to question his hustle, he isn't 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. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am," Machado told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal in an interview that's scheduled to air on FS1 Tuesday.
The 26-year-old drew criticism in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series from fans and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer when he didn't run hard to first after hitting a groundball to shortstop.
Machado explained to Rosenthal that he understands he could step it up, but also mentioned his reasons for taking it slow.
"Should I have run on that pitch? Yeah … but I didn’t and I gotta pay the consequences for it. It does look bad. It looks terrible. I look back at the video and I’m like, 'Woah, what was I doing?' You know, just the emotions of the game … I’m the type of player that has stayed in the zone, I’m playing and I’m just in the zone.
"On 3-0, I’m trying to drive one out. I hit a 100 mph groundball (actually 76 mph) right into the shift, right to the shortstop … before I even step out of the box, I look to the shortstop, he has the ball in his hands and I’m like, 'I’m out.' … I mean, what am I going to do?
"Should I have given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. (It’s) my fault like always, I mean that’s just my mentality when I’m in the game. (There are) things that you learn, things that you gotta change. I’ve tried changing it for eight years and I still can’t figure it out but, one of these days I will."
Machado was the focal point of two separate incidents involving hard slides on Monday against Milwaukee. One of the plays proved costly, however, after a replay review showed he didn't attempt to slide at the base.