Manny Machado’s lack of hustle wasn’t a secret, Dodgers president Andrew Friedman says at GM meetings

During this week’s general managers meetings, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman chimed in on the criticism Manny Machado received during the postseason for not hustling. Friedman told reporters he knew he was getting a player who didn’t hustle all the time when he traded for Machado. 

“He got booed in Baltimore three weeks before we traded for him,” Friedman said Tuesday at the GM meetings. “It’s not like it was a secret. I think it’s never a fun thing to watch, at least from my perspective and vantage point, but I do think it’s important to dig further into that, and I think there are times when guys do that and they don’t really care. And I think there are other times where guys do it and they really do care, and by care I mean the effort they put into their work, the type of teammate they are, and Manny checks all those boxes.”

After nearly four months spent as a Dodger, Machado is one of the top free agents on the market this offseason. The Dodgers acquired Machado from the Orioles in mid-July, and he took over the shortstop job that was open because Corey Seager tore an elbow ligament in late April that required season-ending surgery.

Machado hit .273 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI in 66 games, and the Dodgers won their second straight NL pennant. He hit .227 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 16 postseason games, including .182 (4 for 22) with three RBI in the five-game World Series loss to Boston.

“So would I rather see more effort as I’m watching? Of course. I think anyone would say that,” Friedman said. “But I think that in and of itself isn’t as critical of a dynamic as it would be if he didn’t care, if he didn’t put in the work, didn’t put in the effort, and that in our 3 1/2 months of being around him was really strong.”

After failing to run out a grounder in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Brewers, Machado addressed the criticism he had been receiving in the postseason in a pregame interview with Ken Rosenthal and said hustling was not his “cup of tea.”

“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.”

Machado’s lack of hustle wasn’t the only controversy he sparked during the playoffs. He kicked Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar’s foot as he ran out a groundout during the NLCS which led to a $10,000 fine and Christian Yelich to call Machado “a dirty player.”

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