In the past week alone, Manny Machado has admitted he doesn’t like to hustle, and also incurred the wrath of the Brewers when he stepped on the foot of their 1st baseman, Jesus Aguilar. These two incidents leave fans and teams alike wondering if this is the kind of player they want on their ball club.
Playoff baseball has a tendency to bring out the worst in some players. You find out who the real jerks are, whether it be Dennis Eckersley, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Chase Utley, or Machado. Machado’s jerk-factor is really coming to the surface this post-season…more so than it ever has.
For Machado, a pending free-agent at the conclusion of the season, talk about sabotaging your future earnings. How many teams out there will be willing to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars to someone that says…
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. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.
In fairness to Machado regarding the collision with Aguilar, the bulky Brewers 1st baseman did place his foot over far too much of the bag. Machado certainly didn’t have to initiate contact like he did. Aguilar is friendly enough though. If you’re Machado, all you need do is explain to Aguilar that his foot was covering more of the bag than need be and avoid doing it in the future. That would have been a whole lot easier than dragging your foot across the back of his leg and risk injury to both players.
Since coming into the league back in 2012, Machado has always been talented, he’s also been extremely arrogant. But that’s not nearly enough to be deemed a bad guy. It’s when you add-in douchey plays along with your arrogant behaviour that you risk entering the realm of villainy. Machado is at a crossroads, he can keep pulling stunts like this only to be remembered as the next A-Rod. Or he can let his talent speak for itself and focus on what really matters…playing the game the right way.