Manny Machado is doing damage control and no one is buying it.
In an exclusive interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Machado, one of the top free agents on the market, is walking back on comments he made during the postseason about his lack of hustle. One problem, I don't believe him and neither does the public.
Let's take a look back at what Machado said during the postseason.
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"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," Machado told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "You know, whatever can happen. That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."
Do you see anything taken out of context or anything that could be misconstrued? To me, this looks like a fairly well-thought-out message and Machado meant what he said, which is fine.
Here's what he's saying now.
"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 told MLB.com on Tuesday. "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."
So, what happened in the time between the two quotes? Machado became a free agent seeking hundreds of millions of dollars and people began to question if he was the right fit for their team.
Look, not only is it not easy to give 100 percent, every moment for 162 games, it also doesn't make sense most of the time due to the strain it may have on your body. However, as we've seen with Odubel Herrera, once you show a lack of hustle, or talk about not hustling openly, especially in Philadelphia and even more so if you're being paid upwards of $300 million, that's just not going to fly.
There's no doubt that Machado is a tremendous baseball player, but his comments yesterday feel more like damage control than anything else. If GMs and owners are like any of these fans, they didn't believe it either and may not be willing to make him the centerpiece of their franchise for the foreseeable future.
Somebody's agent coached him up 😂— Tracey Steele (@traceysteele) November 21, 2018
You should have challenged him on the hustle quote.— Pantsasnapkins (@pantsasnapkins) November 21, 2018
Manny is backpedaling.— Jeff Franklin (@jfranklin2678) November 21, 2018
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