He knows he is viewed as a “villain.” Manny Machado brings up the word to describe himself. Admits to acts and words that even he terms regrettable.
Yet, Machado insists he does not see winding up where no one could have envisioned when free agency began — the Padres for $300 million — as a do-over or a chance at reputation resuscitation
“This is not about me fixing anything,” Machado said “This is me being me.”
This version of Manny being Manny probably took him off various clubs’ wish lists. In October, in his Dodger fling, Machado offered a terrible end statement to a job interview. In the biggest games of his life, he coasted often, delivered play that ranged between reckless and dirty and then in an infamous postseason interview doubled down by, among other things, saying hustle is “not my cup of tea.”
In the end, it might not have cost him a cent — $300 million was the most ever given a free agent until Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies for $330 million nine days later. But it might have cost him locale.
“They weren’t the first choice, obviously,” Machado admits of the Padres. “They weren’t in the picture at the beginning.”
The perception was that he badly wanted to be a Yankee and, if not, then go to a team that trained in Florida (he lives in Miami) and was a contender.