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I was going to ask, what makes one a better jogger? Faster or slower? Faster seems better, but then you risk it becoming a sprint, and that's not appropriate at all when jogging. What does one intend to accomplish with one's jog? Collect a ball? Scope the stands for women? Induce catcalls? Alienate teammates? Sweat out last night's libations?
Plus, I haven't seen the Upton play. So I don't know how to vote.
I took it to mean "the better player who happened to dog it on a play," because I didn't see the Upton play, only the hissing in the dugout later on. Still, Ramirez' jaunt to the outfield corner was epic, almost like sandlot baseball. By either measure he may win.
Is there any video of exactly what happened on the Upton play? I've been trying to find it and can't. I'm always a bit bothered when this stuff comes up. I think it's different for players calling each other out, as long as it's handled appropriately, since they have a better sense of what's going on on a given play and what should be expected, but I'm bothered when the media piles on sometimes without cause. Especially given the recent mini-analysis a blogger did (I can find the link if need be) where he found that overwhelmingly (20:1) the players called out by the media for being lazy/lack of hustle were black and/or hispanic.
Okay, found the video. Not the best quality, but seemed to offer enough. Was Upton in a full sprint? No. Was that the first and only time a player hasn't gone 127% on a play? Obviously not. Without knowing exactly what was said, it's hard to know who was right/wrong in the dugout. If Longoria said, "Come on, man, we need everyone's best out there," and Upton flew off the handle, that is one thing. If Longoria said, "Get off your lazy butt and run or I'll cut you in your sleep," I would find Upton's reaction far more reasonable. All-in-all, this seems much ado about nothing and is largely being focused on A) because it comes on the heals of the Zambrano situation, B) the Rays are stumbling a wee bit, and C) for some sportswriters, it fits the fun little narrative they're constructing about Evan "Jesus" Longoria (trumped only by the Stephen "God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" Strasburg narrative). All-in-all, I don't think any of us are qualified to make any value judgments about Upton based on that one play. If there is more to it that his teammates are privy to, they should handle it however makes sense to them.
BSK, I don't disagree with anything you wrote. My point is just that Upton was clearly jogging. At no point did he go above 50% of his maximum speed on that play. Now, I don't know why that happened. Maybe he was injured and maybe he was confused about where the ball was heading. I'm not condemning him without more information--however I do find it very odd. To see a player give 80% or 90% is not uncommon. But the less-than-50% that both he and Ramirez gave are very, very odd.
My apologies... I wasn't meaning to call your post into question. I was just springboarding off the general topic. It's pretty objective fact that Upton was jogging on that play. Unless he was limited by an injury that made such a pace his top speed (which should have kept him out of the game), it's fair to note what we see on the field. What I get bothered by is the quick jump alot of sanctimonious sportswriters make when making declarative statements about an individual's character based on a single data point. I read your post as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the two major flaps we've seen surrounding this issue this year. I was just getting up on my soapbox about the issue in general.
Perhaps so. I haven't followed/watched Upton close enough to know one way or another. Which is why I haven't specifically weighed in one way or the other. I will say, though, that guys are quick to get "loafer" or "lazy" labels (just as others are quick to get "hustler" or "scrappy" labels) and from there it is just a matter of confirmation bias. If we think of a guy as lazy, we tend to note all the times he does something that supports that perception and ignore the rest. Same for guys who are "clutch" or "big game players" or "chokers", etc, etc, etc. So, I'd venture to say Upton has his fair share of plays he didn't go all out on. Maybe more than average, maybe not. I'm sure numerous highlight/lowlight reels could be put together supporting him being Charlie Hustle AND a complete loaf. All-in-all, I'd venture to get that any guy who has gotten to the major leagues doesn't stray that far from the pack in terms of effort, high or low.
Maybe Andy can work on a graph demonstrating "hustle" and standard deviations. Then we can do one with "heart", "grit", and "clutchtitude".
At the end of the day, Upton certainly deserved criticism for that play, but I'd rather leave it at that. What happened in the dugout is between the players. I just wonder how it would have been perceived if the roles had been reversed and Upton got in Longoria's face over a perceived lack of hustle (and not just because of the racial dynamic, but the dominant "narratives" associated with each). Look no further than Olney's blog to see an example of Boomer Wells calling out guys for flubbing up a play because of not hustling and Jeter subsequently calling Wells out. I'll let you guess who was painted as the villain and who was the hero...
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