Free agent Manny Machado said Tuesday that his infamous statement, “I’m not the type of player that’s going to be Johnny Hustle,” made during the Dodgers’ postseason run last month, didn’t come out quite right.
“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 in an interview that was published Wednesday morning.
“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.”
Machado, who was acquired by the Dodgers from the Baltimore Orioles in July, has been criticized for what appeared to be a lack of effort at times while running the bases. During Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, he didn’t run out a ground ball even though the game was scoreless at the time.
Asked later about the incident, Machado admitted that he was wrong not to hustle on that play but also indicated he has no intention of changing his playing style.
“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 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.
“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, ‘Whoa, what was I doing?’”
Although there was more to his comments than the “Johnny Hustle” reference, Machado knows that’s the part people remember, and he realizes that it could come back to haunt him this offseason as a free agent.
“I know how I said it and how that came across, and it’s something I take responsibility for,” he told MLB.com on Tuesday. “I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have.”