USA Today Sports

Manny Machado tries to walk back 'Johnny Hustle' comment

Rob Bradford
November 21, 2018 - 9:24 am

Manny Machado is going to make a lot of money this offseason. The shortstop is in line to sign a historic free agent contract considering his production and age. That seems like a given.

That doesn't mean he isn't prioritizing putting his best foot forward when it comes to perception.

Speaking to, Machado explained his thought process when telling Fox Sports during the National League Championship Series, "I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle' and run down the line and slide to first base."

"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. "For me, I was trying to talk about how I'm not the guy who is eyewash. 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.

"But 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."

The comments certainly presented Machado in a bad light, as was evident by Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner calling the comments "troubling."

The 26-year-old's production and potential obviously is going to be the foundation for any free agent deal. Machado's value was put on display in helping the Dodgers reach the World Series by putting up 13 homers and an .825 OPS in his 66 games with Los Angeles after being dealt from Baltimore.

In the piece, Machado goes on to explain how he is viewing free agency, suggesting the plan is to personally sit down with a select group of suitors in the coming weeks.

"At the end of the day, I'll consider every situation carefully," Machado said. "There's a lot that goes into my decision. First and foremost, I will think about my family; where they will be comfortable and happy. I definitely want to be in a place where I can winlong-termm and be a part of World Series teams for many years to come. It's way too early to tell what else might play a part, but I'm excited and looking forward to it."

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