Criticized for his lack of effort so far in the National League Championship Series, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado told The Athletic on Tuesday that being “Johnny Hustle” is not his “cup of tea.”
The Dodgers trailed the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 in the best-of-seven series entering Game 4 on Tuesday night.
In L.A.’s 4-3 victory in Game 2, Machado failed to run out a ground ball in a close game. In Milwaukee’s 4-0 win in Game 3, he made two questionable slides, the latter resulting in a double play.
Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, writing for The Athletic, asked Machado why he doesn’t run hard.
“I’ve been thinking about it and it happens every time, there’s no excuse for it honestly. I’ve never given excuses for not running. I’m not hurt, there’s no excuse but I’ve been the same player ... I’ve been doing this for eight years. I’m in ‘the show’ for eight years. I’ve done the same thing for eight years. I’ve been the same player.”
Machado, 26, actually just completed his seventh season. The four-time All-Star came up with Baltimore in 2012 and was acquired by the Dodgers in July for five prospects.
“Obviously I’m not going to change,” Machado continued. “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.”
Entering Tuesday’s game, Machado was batting .455 (5-for-11) in the NLCS with one homer, one double, three RBIs and two runs. He will be a free agent after the postseason.
While Machado was unapologetic about his lack of hustle, teammate Enrique Hernandez took to Twitter to apologize for blaming Dodgers fans for not showing enough energy during the team’s Game 3 loss to the Brewers.
“I’d like to apologize to all those who thought that I was blaming the fans for last night. That’s not what I said nor will I EVER say such thing! Tweets can be taken out of context when the whole story is not there and that was the case last night.
“I was really frustrated after the game and as a competitor, I was frustrated because of the way we played and the way we performed. I haven’t done anything this series but that doesn’t affect me that much as long as we win; last night we didn’t and it got to me.
“Calling Dodger Stadium ‘home’ is truly a privilege and a blessing!!! Something I don’t ever take for granted! The atmosphere there is one that you can’t find anywhere else. Last night felt off, it was just a weird day overall.”
Hernandez had said Monday that “the stadium had no energy, the fans had no energy.” On Tuesday, he changed his walk-up song to “Sorry” by Justin Bieber and received a warm reception from the fans.
--Field Level Media