San Diego Padres infielder Manny Machado knows money won’t fix his reputation. While the 26-year-old Machado has a lot to be happy about after signing a 10-year, $300 million deal in the offseason, he also knows many fans will still view him as a villain moving forward, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Machado isn’t sure why that’s the case.
“I always will be the villain, no matter what,” Machado said. “I don’t know why. That is just stuff I have to deal with and I have been okay dealing with that situation. That doesn’t bother me.”
Machado raised a few eyebrows in the postseason after stepping on Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar during a game and making comments suggesting he wasn’t a fan of hustling. Machado attempted to clarify those comments later, saying he was wrong to react that way. He added that the hustle comment didn’t come across as he intended.
Machado admitted he knows he’s made some “dumb” mistakes, but stressed that he has to block out that criticism and be himself.
“I have done some pretty dumb things. I am not going to lie. I see the things I have done. And I have done some dumb things. At the same time, I have done things that get blown out of the water and suddenly I am that guy. At the end of the day, I play baseball and I don’t let anything else get in my head.”
Though he admits San Diego wasn’t his first choice, Machado is fitting in with his new team. Eric Hosmer and manager Andy Green were complementary of Machado. Green praised Machado’s “work ethic,” according to Sherman.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what the majority of fans think of Machado. As long as he continues to produce and the Padres win games, Machado will be loved by his home-town fans.
Considering Machado is going to be playing in front of them for a decade, that would be a pretty big win.
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