Yankees manager's latest comments may be music to Manny Machado's ears

New York baseball took over the local airwaves Wednesday, and while many tuned into The Sports Pope’s schtick with Mets brass, Yankees manager Aaron Boone dropped an intriguing tidbit elsewhere.

“You hope all players all the time run things out, play hard or give it their all,” Boone said while on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN radio. “But [it’s] not necessarily the No. 1 thing I look at when I am defining whether a player is giving his all or is a gamer.”

Music to Manny Machado’s ears.

The coveted free agent did some damage control last month in an attempt to clarify his postseason “Johnny hustle” gaffe, telling MLB.com, “I've always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.”

The message, maybe even prompted by Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner previously suggesting the all-star explain his comments, appears to have made its way to the Bronx.

Boone, at least, didn’t seem as bothered by the whole situation as others in the baseball community.

“There is an expectation that we have and hopefully as a professional that there is a certain way you go about things, and running balls out can certainly play into that,” Boone said. “Frankly, it is a little bit down the list as far as what I define what makes a player. My definition of a player who plays hard, who plays through adversity and is tough and brings things behind the scenes and has the ability to post when it is not easy. Those are things that define playing hard a little more to me.’’

The skipper’s comments are certainly in line with what his boss has said regarding Machado’s free agency.

“I’m sure it wasn’t his best moment, but that doesn’t mean that’s the moment that should define him either,” general manager Brian Cashman told YES Network earlier this week.

Time will tell if the Yanks will use getting spurned by Patrick Corbin as more incentive to pay Machado the $300-400 million he’ll likely end up getting on the open market.

That’s the Evil Empire’s way, after all.

Matthews: Who's up next for the Yankees after free-agent target Patrick Corbin takes the Nationals money? »

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