The Dodgers just swept the Padres in Los Angeles. The Padres won the trade deadline by acquiring Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Josh Hader. The hype of the trade deadline has not transferred too well into their play, as the Dodgers outscored them 20-4 in three games. They're slated to get Fernando Tatis Jr. back very soon, though. A team already led by Manny Machado should pick up the slack sometime soon, though. Speaking of Machado.
Macha-do About Nothing
In 2018, then Dodgers player Manny Machado gave the quote of the century about his lack of hustle.
"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.”
Since coming into the league in 2012, Machado has been a world-class talent in the major leagues. Machado's 162-game average season looks like this. .280/.340/.489 with a .829 OPS and an OPS+ of 124. He averages 31 home runs in a 162-game average.
Despite that talent, Machado has also been a paragon of a dirty player and a player who never hustles. There is a decade of examples of this, but here's a good one.
If Machado runs even a little on that play, he beats the throw. Not every player hustles 100% of the time and that's okay and acknowledged. That's now out of the way. Let's look at Machado this weekend in a huge three-game series against the Dodgers.
Here is the thing. I saw various comments and links to news reports explaining that Machado has an injured ankle. Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a viable explanation for the atrocious lack of effort on this play. The problem with that explanation is that when you build up a reputation of putting forth no effort, that's what people are going to notice. With Betts the runner, he easily gets to third on Machado's error. If you're Machado on that play, you limp while running if you have to so that you can get to that ball.
This video is closing in on being four years old, but it gives enough video evidence as to Machado's style and why he's considered a dirty player.
I included this because I called him a dirty player and felt it was cheap to do so without providing video evidence. I'm not the first person to call Machado a dirty player but the fact is that Machado doesn't have the best reputation. Like any other human being, he has moments of doing wonderful things, but the overwhelming amount of ugly moments outweigh the good.
He's still a great player who (when healthy) plays jaw-droppingly good defense at third base, and he can hit the cover off the ball. Hopefully, his ankle heals so we can see him at his best—should he decide to give full effort.