Posts Tagged ‘Work Ethic’

Manny Machado has hit free agency as one of the top names available on the open market. He also has some red flags associated with his lack of hustle and occasional dirty play.

Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, whose team acquired the All-Star infielder from the Baltimore Orioles, said Tuesday that there was no buyer’s remorse and that he was well aware of Machado’s quirks before the trade.

“He got booed in Baltimore three weeks before we traded for him,” Friedman said, according to ESPN. “It’s not like it was a secret. I think it’s never a fun thing to watch, at least from my perspective and vantage point, but I do think it’s important to dig further into that, and I think there are times when guys do that and they don’t really care. And I think there are other times where guys do it and they really do care, and by care I mean the effort they put into their work, the type of teammate they are, and Manny checks all those boxes.”

It’s difficult to argue with the results on the field. The four-time All-Star has played in at least 156 games in four consecutive seasons and played a full 162-game slate in 2018. He also had his best offensive season, batting .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs, 35 doubles, 14 stolen bases, and 107 RBIs between Baltimore and Los Angeles.

The 26-year-old received negative attention during the Dodgers’ playoff run for questionable slides and for kicking Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar as he jogged out a ground ball. That play resulted in a fine and caused Brewers players to call him out as a “dirty player.”

Despite his antics, Machado’s talent and prowess with a bat are expected to garner plenty of attention this offseason.

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New York Islanders farmhand Josh Ho-Sang doesn’t think he was given a fair shake at cracking the big club out of camp this season.

Ho-Sang, who’s been vocal about his lack of opportunity with the Islanders in the past, believes New York’s new-look regime under Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz had its team predetermined in training camp.

“I felt like they had their minds made up on what was going to happen and what the team was going to look like,” Ho-Sang told Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post. “It’s OK. They had the whole summer to plan that. I don’t know if you watched any of the games, but I didn’t play a lot. It’s OK. It is what it is.”

Ho-Sang was drafted 28th overall by the Isles in 2014. While he possesses an NHL-level skill set, his commitment on both sides of the puck and actions off the ice have shaped his reputation as a player.

Even in the AHL, he’s not sure he’s being deployed properly.

“They tell me they want me to be a top-six forward up there, but I’m not a top-six forward down here, so it’s confusing,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s like you’re sprinting with a rubber band on. You constantly have tension. You run until you’re exhausted and then the band is going to pull you back. If I was going to say anything, it would be: Just watch. I’m just pointing it out.”

In nine games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season, Ho-Sang has recorded four assists. Over his NHL career, he’s amassed 22 points in 43 contests.

Chris Jericho has been keeping himself busy since leaving the WWE last year, and the Superstar showed up in New Japan Pro Wrestling, winning the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Jericho appeared on Larry King Now last year, and the full interview was released couple of days ago. Chris was promoting his book ‘No Is a Four-Letter Word’, and when asked if Vince McMahon knew about him before he signed with the WWE, Jericho shed some light on if Vince keeps tabs on talent outside the WWE.

“I’m not sure he did”, Jericho revealed. “One thing about Vince is like, I always say that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done outside of those walls. Until you walk into a WWE ring and Vince sees you with his own two eyes, I don’t think it matters what you had done. I think his people had told him about Chris Jericho, and he might have seen a few things. But I don’t think he really knew who I was, or what I was, or what I could do, or what I potentially could do until I got there. And as good as I was after 9 years (of wrestling in other promotions), getting into the Vince world was a completely different thing.”

Jericho was also asked to give his thoughts on Cena acting in movies, and Jericho attributed his success to Vince McMahon’s work ethic.

“You talk about Cena, you talk about Batista, Rock or Chris Jericho, we all have that Vince McMahon work ethic. And the other thing is, there are no Prima Donnas in the WWE. You’re expected to do your job, you’re expected to do the press. You’re expected to do whatever it takes to represent the company, and represent yourself. So whenever guys like us come into Hollywood, a guy like John, work ethic-through the roof. Attitude-amazing. Press-‘What do you want me to do? What else can I do to promote this?’ It’s like a dream, a dream performer for the people out here.”

The current IWGP Intercontinental Champion was also asked about Dwayne Johnson’s success in Hollywood, and Jericho once again pointed to The Rock’s work ethic.

“Just work-ethic. Work-ethic, talent, charisma. And not taking no for an answer. It all boils down to that.”

When Larry asked Chris if he thought Dwayne would run for President in the future, Jericho said he would. Chris also played up The Rock’s chances of becoming a future President.

“Absolutely. We live in a world now, I call it ‘The era of the celebrity President’. Started with Obama a little bit, and now with Trump. No previous experience, knows how to work a camera, knows how to be charismatic. That’s what you need to be the President now. We’ve already established that. You don’t have to be a Governor. You don’t even have to be a Senator.”

When news first broke in September that Jimmy Butler had requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, teammate Andrew Wiggins‘ brother Nick reacted with joy. And given the reported tensions between Butler and some of his young teammates, it was believed the feeling was shared by Andrew.

Yet, with Butler seemingly stuck with the Wolves for the time being, Wiggins is spinning the current situation as a positive.

“All I know is, when we start playing the real games, Jimmy is someone you want on your team,” Wiggins said Sunday, per the Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood. “At the end of the day, people can say what they want to say.”

Wiggins has reportedly been a target of Butler’s ire since last season due to his work ethic and defensive lapses. It’s a cloud that’s hung over the Canadian throughout his four NBA seasons, as many believe Wiggins’ passivity has kept him from making the leap into the league’s elite.

Butler himself told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the 23-year-old Wiggins is the most “god-gifted player” on the Timberwolves, but then essentially questioned his drive.

Whether the Butler saga can light a fire under Wiggins remains to be seen. They’re expected to start together on the wings when Minnesota opens the regular season Wednesday in San Antonio.

“He’s a winner,” Wiggins added of Butler. “I feel like, no matter where he is, he’s right here now. He’s going to give it all, because that’s all he knows.”

Lonzo Ball‘s unorthodox shooting form and weak percentages during his rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers drew a great deal of criticism.

The 20-year-old point guard is at least self aware of his shortcomings as a shooter, which is why he took it upon himself to try and improve that facet of his game by reworking his form over the summer.

“”We didn’t want to bother him [his shot],” said team president Magic Johnson on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think he decided to do that on his own.

“And, man, it is beautiful.”

Johnson said that Ball now brings the ball more in front of him and does the same with his follow through. Where he sets and releases his shot hasn’t changed.

“I think his shot looks incredible,” added general manager Rob Pelinka. “He was here every day. He was one of the most committed guys this offseason. … The way he’s shooting the ball looks a lot more fluid now.

“One of the things about his college metrics is he was an outstanding 3-point shooter. With this team, with so many different ball handlers, I think that’s a strength for him. If he pushes it ahead to someone and runs and fills a spot, and he’s a catch-and-shoot player, he’s going to have the ability, I think, to be a good shooter.”

Ball converted 41.2 percent of his 3-pointers during his lone season at UCLA, with that number dropping to just 30.5 percent during his first season in the NBA. The second overall pick of the 2017 draft shot 36 percent overall across 52 outings, including 33.5 percent on the catch-and-shoot and 31.7 percent on pullup shots.

Of the 154 players in the Association who played 1,700 or more total minutes, Ball ranked 153rd in true shooting percentage at 44.4 percent.

He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in July and will be ready for the start of Lakers training camp, although he’ll initially be held out of five-on-five drills.

Although Baker Mayfield has shown a willingness to learn from veteran Tyrod Taylor, he wants to make one thing clear: he’s not preparing to be a backup ahead of his rookie season.

Mayfield was selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft and has praised Taylor several times throughout the summer. However, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is preparing to battle Taylor until the very end.

“I would never get my mind right to be a backup,” Mayfield said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “That’s the second that I would be complacent. That’s the second that I’d stop working. You’ve always got to keep working like you’re going to be the best and that’s the same thing Tyrod (Taylor) has done his whole life. It doesn’t matter the position you’re in. If you’re not going to work hard then you’re not doing it right.”

Taylor is taking the vast majority of first-team reps in practice but Mayfield isn’t deterred.

“They’re doing everything they think is right and I believe in that and I believe in them, so when it comes down to the stuff that they’re saying, that’s not going to change my work ethic and if it does, then something’s wrong.”

Taylor was acquired by the Browns in March from the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a third-round pick after leading his former club to their first playoff appearance this century. Browns head coach Hue Jackson reiterated that Taylor will be the starter this fall, but Mayfield is determined to make this one of the NFL’s most interesting training camp storylines.

Tommy Dreamer faced Eddie Edwards at Slammiversary this past Sunday. The Innovator Of Violence recently took part in a media call where he discussed his company House Of Hardcore. Impact Wrestling’s Global Force Network includes a lot of content, but Dreamer explained why HOH will not be made available there. He already has an exclusive deal with Twitch so this makes it an impossibility. He then proceeded to praise the service Twitch offers and its huge viewership potential as well.

“I’m already on Twitch [with House Of Hardcore] so I have my own streaming service,” Dreamer said. “I think it’s a wonderful idea for Impact Wrestling [to offer multiple promotions on the GFN]. They have offered me to do that but I have an exclusive with Twitch where I am getting paid for my content already. So that’s why I didn’t do it.

“I’ve looked at the wrestling business and a lot of times the wrestling business will repeat itself. I don’t want for bad history to repeat itself in the sense of I don’t want the territories to get swallowed up just like they did in the 80’s. When I say territories there are some really good independent companies that are out there running consistent shows.

“If Impact was putting crappy quality on their app then you get what you get what you pay for. I think they’re putting out nicely produced shows so it’s all about content. That’s what Hulu wants and Netflix […] they just want content and wrestling has such an amazing fan base that it’s the content that’s watched. You know its funny most people don’t know what Twitch is… Impact has a Twitch channel. Twitch has more subscribers than the WWE Network. It’s just getting the word out there.”

Dreamer has influenced a generation of hardcore wrestlers after him. As he approaches his 30th anniversary in the pro wrestling business, Dreamer mentioned a couple people in Impact Wrestling who could carry on his legacy.

“The word hardcore has been bastardized by WWE. People think about blood, or tables, or chairs. To me, hardcore is a work ethic. You know it became hardcore was WWE’s version was early ECW and in ECW we did every single thing we could to put on a great performance for the fans.

“In Impact, I want to say every single wrestler could be hardcore. Becuase everybody goes out there an busts their butts to entertain the fans. No matter what situation they have been in.”

He listed names like Sami Callihan and Pentagon Jr as two guys who could carry on his legacy of hardcore wrestling. Dreamer also praised the current Impact Wrestling roster and pointed a spotlight on some people who he feels have an especially bright future.

“I am a huge fan of LAX. I think they have such amazing talent. Brian Cage, he’s another guy although he’s a pain in my ass at my House Of Hardcore shows. I wanna say the biggest impact I feel to come out of the [Knockouts Division] is Tessa Blanchard.

“[Blanchard] is money and she is signed a long-term deal with Impact Wrestling. I have never heard such a buzz about anyone in the industry.”