Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado is a great player, but you'll never mistake him for "Johnny Hustle," especially after the incident in Game 2 of the NLCS when he lightly jogged down the first base line on a ground ball.
Most players would try to defend their actions and make some kind of excuse for it, but not Manny. He knows he should've given more effort, but hustling is not what he's about.
"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 given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. (It’s) my fault like always, I mean that’s just my mentality when I’m in the game. (There are) things that you learn, things that you gotta change. I’ve tried changing it for eight years and I still can’t figure it out but, one of these days I will."
"I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle' ... That's just not my personality."— NESN (@NESN) October 16, 2018
Manny Machado's explanation for not hustling defies explanation.https://t.co/fc2ZDSg7tF pic.twitter.com/mXhwl9YzPd
I guess Machado should be given credit for being honest, but man, admitting that hustling and playing hard is not part of your game or personality is odd. You don't have to sprint out of the box on a home run, but in the postseason where every out matters and every base runner is paramount, busting it down the line is what you should do.
You never know when a defender is going to make a bad throw or a fielding error. An offensive player on average has four plate appearances. Is running hard four times a game, unless you get a walk, home run or strike out, too much to ask?
That's a precedent for any team, especially one trying to win a World Series.