Dodgers

Dodgers: Manny Machado Proves He’s Still no ‘Johnny Hustle’

For Dodgers fans, there was a painful reminder of Manny being Manny.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been the architect behind a number of blockbuster moves in recent years that were considered “wins” at the trade deadline. Trea Turner and Max Scherzer a year ago. Yu Darvish back in 2017. We can lump the Mookie Betts acquisition in there, even though that was an offseason addition. 

These are all examples of wins for LA. But one move still doesn’t sit well with Dodger fans, despite it being heralded as a win at the time.

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That was the trade for Manny Machado. 

In 2018, Machado was acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline. It was a much-needed move after LA lost shortstop Corey Seager for the season following Tommy John surgery. Friedman, in search of a boost in the lineup, went out and picked up the prize of that year’s deadline.

Machado joined the Dodgers as the starting shortstop and quickly began ticking off fans with his perceived lack of hustle on the field.

The now current San Diego Padres third baseman put that prime Manny being Manny hustle on display in LA on Saturday and the baseball world and true blue fans were reminded of that brief era of Dodger baseball.

Here’s the play in question.

While Machado only spent a half-season with LA, it was plenty of time for him to turn fans against him. Manny was certainly great at times as a Dodger. Without him, chances are high that the club doesn’t make it to the World Series for a second year in a row. However, in the playoffs — with the spotlight on him — the then 26-year-old earned more than his fair share of criticism. 

He turned doubles into singles. He dogged it running out plays to first base. And perhaps most head-scratching of all, he was accused of being a dirty player after an altercation at first base against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS.

During the postseason, Machado sat with FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal to discuss the perception. That only made things worse.

“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.”

After a tumultuous partnership, many Dodger fans were not happy with him and now, will remind him with boos every time his name is announced. 

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Four years later and the now 30-year-old is an All-Star and MVP candidate, but apparently, has not grown out of his bad attitude. 

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