Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres on Feb. 19.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
March 09, 2019

Manny Machado has come to accept his role as baseball's "villain."

During last year's postseason run with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Machado received heavy criticism for stepping on Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce's heel while running through first base. He was also ripped for a similar collision with the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar, one that led the benches to clear during the NLCS.

In October, Machado said he was "not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,'" a comment that also drew heat.

"I always will be the villain, no matter what," Machado told the New York Post in a story published Friday. "I don't know why. That is just stuff I have to deal with, and I have been OK dealing with that situation. That doesn't bother me."

Machado previously referred to himself as a villain during his time with the Baltimore Orioles after spiking Dustin Pedroia on a slide during an April 2017 series. The four-time All-Star was traded from Baltimore to Los Angeles just ahead of the July trade deadline.

After signing a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres in February, Machado told the Post his focus this year is solely on baseball.

"I'm going to play my game, and I am going to go down as the player I am," Machado said. "I can't control what people think of me. I can't control any of that. I can only control what I do on the field. I can control how good of a teammate I am, how good of a baseball player I am. I am not going to say that I don't regret some of the things I have done. 

"I have done some pretty dumb things," Machado added. "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."

Machado hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs for the Orioles and Dodgers last season.

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