One of the benefits of playing in San Diego is avoiding major criticism when you do something like this.
Manny Machado, he of the infamous “Johnny Hustle” comments in the 2018 postseason, again loafed his way to first base on a soft groundout. These kinds of plays happen throughout a 162-game season but there’s increased scrutiny when it happens with a player who has openly admitted hustling isn’t one of his main priorities.
It happened in the first inning of Sunday’s Padres-Blue Jays affair. Machado grounded softly to the second baseman and barely ran out of the box, moving about as fast as the majority of Americans on a Memorial Day weekend morning.
Toronto’s second baseman bobbled the ball a few times but Machado was still out by about 10 feet because of the lack of hustle.
Here is the play.
This looks awfully familiar Machado.. pic.twitter.com/zZasZFn2tq— Mike (@PastrnakGOAT) May 26, 2019
Not a good look. And say what you will about Bryce Harper’s high strikeout rate, hustle has been no issue whatsoever with him so far in a Phillies uniform. Harper has given the Phillies added value in the field and on the basepaths.
Coincidentally, a similar thing happened in the first inning of the Phillies-Brewers game Sunday. Andrew McCutchen grounded a ball near the second base bag and his first step out of the box was not full-speed. The second baseman bobbled it and McCutchen immediately picked up speed, being thrown out narrowly. It was similar to the Machado play but not as egregious. At least McCutchen looked like he cared at some point during the play.
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