New York Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner finds free agent Manny Machado's October comments on hustling "troubling."
At Wednesday's major league baseball owners' meetings, Steinbrenner addressed how Machado responded to questions about the incident.
"If it's a $300 million guy or a $10 million, clearly those comments are troubling," Steinbrenner said, per the New York Post. "But that's really [general manager Brian Cashman's] job. If we're interested in any player, sit down with him face-to-face and ask him, 'Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it?'
"Because that ain't gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is."
Machado, then playing for the Dodgers, drew heavy criticism during the National League Championship Series' Game 2 for running slow to first base while trying to beat out a grounder. The game was tied 0-0 in the fourth inning. When asked about the play the next day, Machado told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that while "there's no excuse for it" he wasn't "going to change."
"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."
The Yankees have been rumored to be interested in acquiring Machado, especially with Didi Gregorious set to miss the beginning of next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Steinbrenner said he would clarify Machados' comments with the shortstop if the two ever have an interview.
"It's essential," he said. "It's not [just] important. It's going to happen."