Manny Machado

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Steinbrenner: Manny Machado's Lack Of Hustle 'Ain't Gonna Sell' In New York

November 14, 2018 - 3:35 pm
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By WFAN.com

Brian Cashman has repeatedly said that the Yankees’ biggest priority this offseason is to improve their starting pitching. He said so once again Wednesday morning on WFAN. Despite this, one of the main stories surrounding the Bronx Bombers since the conclusion of the World Series has been about the possible addition of Manny Machado.

Machado, who is a free-agent, has been increasingly linked with a move to the Yankees in the past few weeks. Some Yankees players have even gone on the record to talk about the prospect of him signing with the team.

On Wednesday, Hal Steinbrenner became the latest member of the organization to speak about Machado. Steinbrenner was speaking to a group of reporters at the MLB owners’ meetings when he addressed some of Machado’s controversial comments from October about hustling to first base.

“If it’s a $300 million guy or a $10 million guy, clearly those comments are troubling,” said Steinbrenner. “But that’s really [Brian Cashman’s] job. If we’re interested in any player, sit down with him face to face and ask him, ‘Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it? … That ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is ... It’s essential. It’s not [just] important. It’s going to happen."

The comments in question were made by Machado to The Athletic after he faced criticism during the National League Championship Series for not hustling to first base on ground balls.

“Obviously I'm not going to change,” said Machado. “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.”

Machado’s Dodgers won that series against the Brewers, but were ultimately beaten in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox. 

Being in the news for controversial reasons is not unusual for Machado, but he did admit later in those comments that he made a mistake by not running hard to first.

“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.”

Other than Bryce Harper, Machado will likely be the most sought-after free-agent on the market this winter. Didi Gregorius recently underwent Tommy John surgery and will be out until at least June, so Aaron Boone’s team do have a need at shortstop.

If they decide to fill that need by signing Machado, then he may just have to have a conversation with Steinbrenner and the rest of management about avoiding similar displays that show a lack of effort.  

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Cashman actually praised Machado during his interview on WFAN on Wednesday morning.

"We're going to go through that process with him as well as every available free agent and potential trade partner ... to see what's the best course of action," said Cashman to Boomer & Gio. "We had a chance to see him on the front line against us for the Orioles for way too long, since he was drafted in the first round by them. And he's been banging away against us both offensively and securing outs defensively. He's a tremendous players. And yes, we've got to assess obviously, does he fit our world and at what cost?"