Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado has not been shy about admitting he’ll never be Johnny Hustle. “That’s not my cup of tea,” he said after jogging out a routine ground ball during the NLCS.
In Game 3 of the World Series on Friday (GameTracker), Machado got caught watching a long fly ball that he thought was heading into the seats, only to watch it bang off the wall. He had to settle for a single and missed out on what looked like a potential double. The video:
Yikes. I didn’t think that had a chance to get out off the bat — to be fair, I’ve thought that about plenty of Machado fly balls over the years, only to watch them carry over the fence — and, for what it’s worth, Statcast says batted balls with similar exit velocity and launch angle leave the yard only 22 percent of the time.
Personally, I no longer have the energy to get worked up about players not running out routine ground balls that are outs 99.9 percent of the time. It would be nice if everyone ran out every ground ball, but that’s not going to happen, so whatever. Not running that out though? In the World Series? Oof. That is a bad, bad look for Mr. Machado.
As expected, Machado got roasted on social media after his baserunning laziness, including by some current and former big leaguers. A sampling:
Machado’s baserunning didn’t really hurt the Dodgers there — Cody Bellinger, the next batter hit, a routine fly ball to end the inning — but still, that’s a real bad look for a player who will be seeking a $300-plus million contract as a free agent in a few weeks. It’s the World Series, Manny. Play hard. You never know if you’ll ever get this chance again.
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