Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Machado Explains “Johnny Hustle” Comments, But Does It Matter?

The fans and ownership have spoken, and apparently free agent infielder Manny Machado is listening. Machado had an eventful postseason and World Series that showcased him not only as potentially a dirty player, but as a player that refuses to hustle. Machado did himself no favors when he said in an interview that he was not “Johnny Hustle,” but apparently, we all just misunderstood what he was saying when he said that. Imagine that. This week, before the Thanksgiving holiday and before the GM meetings can kick off later this winter, Machado touched on those comments and offered a bit of clarification on them.

Machado was quoted as saying “I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle’ and run down the line and slide to first base,” which angered a lot of fans and made a lot of potential free agent bidders question his integrity. Now, to be fair, this quote was mildly taken out of context and blown up by the fans and media alike. Everyone who reads this knows about the quote, but I would venture to say that most don’t remember the part of the interview where Machado stated that he admitted that he should have run the ground ball out and that it looked “terrible.”

Machado has since been on the defensive saying that, “When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn’t come across how I meant it,” Machado said. Well, Manny, how did you mean it? “For me, I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.” Yeah, I don’t think that really answered the question, but cool? Machado continued, “I know how I said it and how that came across, and it’s something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have.”

We all know that Hank Steinbrenner has already raised questions about the comments and stated that before he was to be signed that Machado would have to explain himself. If anything, this tells us that Manny is at least willing to do so and seems to at least be taking responsibility for his actions. Does this really change anything? For me, no. The comments didn’t make me want him any more or any less. For others? I doubt it, because their minds are made up. For Brian Cashman, Hank Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees? Maybe, stay tuned to find out.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)