By Mike Rosenstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com | Posted December 20, 2018 at 06:38 AM | Updated December 20, 2018 at 08:08 AM
John Hefti | AP
The Manny Machado free agency tour pulls into New York on Wednesday when he meets with the Yankees.
It started on Monday when Machado visited the Chicago White Sox.
On Thursday, he will visit the Philadelphia Phillies.
Machado is looking for a contract worth more than $300 million.
But to get it, he will have to answer some questions about his work ethic and judgement which surfaced during the 2018 MLB playoffs.
Here is a quick recap of Machado’s mishaps in the postseason:
- In the fourth inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, Machado didn’t hustle down the line in a groundout to shortstop, then told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, “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.”
- In the 10th inning of Game 4 of the NLCS, Machado caught the back leg of Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar while running out a ground ball. That prompted Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich to say, “It was a dirty play by a dirty player.” MLB fined Machado an undisclosed amount.
- Following Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park in Boston, Bleacher Report posted a story which said Machado was caught trying to steal signs.
- In Game 3 of the World Series, Machado dogged it out of the batter’s box on a drive to left field, thinking he had a home run. But the ball hit the outfield wall and Machado was held to a single.
- In Game 4 of the World Series, Machado appeared to spike Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce.
Machado has tried to walk back his “Johnny Hustle” comments.
According to reporter Mark Feinsand, Machado said he didn’t really mean it:
“When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn’t come across how I meant it,” Machado said. “For me, I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.
“But I know how I said it and how that came across, and it’s something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have.”
But Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner wants a face-to-face meeting with Machado before he considers opening the vault.
At the Owners Meetings in November, Steinbrenner called Machado’s now-infamous “Johnny Hustle” comments “troubling” and said he wanted to “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?’
Machado’s answer will go a long way toward deciding if his fate for the next decade lies in the Bronx.
Here is the latest on Machado’s free agency tour: