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bucksfan2
08-01-2007, 02:48 PM
It is my contention that the mentality of this city hurts the ball club. This town has a very loyal and hard working mentality. They tend to overlook several key flaws as long as someone fits that mentality. I look back at the 13 years of bungledom and see that what changed the culture of the club was an outsider coming in and shaking things up.

I think it is a sad state when the media belives that the reds are better off than Norris Hopper. I am willing to bet that if you asked most reds fans who their favorite reds player over the past 10 years was you top three would be Jr., Freel, and Casey. You have a fan base who will cheer Freel if he is thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double but will boo Jr. if they dont think he runs fast enough down to first base or when he rips apart his shoulder diving for a ball. Too often this town is looking for the next Pete Rose and fails to see the star they have in front of their own eyes.

I went to school at OSU and noticed a different mentality up there, it was a just win mentality. I remember looking back at some of the old buckeye teams that were loaded with talent but never won. That was the ultimate demise of John Cooper. I find it ironic that most people consider the 99 season a successful season. They speak highly of a season in which the reds were on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

I think the casual fan has a lot to do with the direction the club has gone over the past 10+ years. IMO the casual fan would rather see Freel or even Hopper play in the outfield that Dunn. The casual fan would rather see a good person play over a more talented person. The regard hustle over production. They chear Todd Coffey when he sprints in from the bullpen but complain because Weathers gives up too many hits when he is trying to save a game. I think the average fan still thinks that $4M per season still buys you a superstar. The average fan needs to realize that the big red machine was 30 years ago and they are not coming back. They need to quit the former reds updates or we should have drafted this guy instead or should have traded for so and so. They need to try and understand the landscape of baseball nowdays. They need to understand that production should outweight any personal feeling towards a particular player. They need to demand that the front office build a winning club but realize that this doesn't happen over night. They need to quit with these snap decisions and give the team time to rebuild.

Thanks for letting me vent. If this thread isn't in the right place feel free to move it or close it down.

BCubb2003
08-01-2007, 03:17 PM
It's an excellent post, and there's a lot of truth in it. Here's a contrarian view, one that I consider sometimes but might not agree with completely:

What if Wayne is right? What if the answer is not in the athletic young guys with the good numbers that we tend to rate highly, like Kearns, Felipe Lopez, Edwin Encarnacion, etc., but in the Aurilias and Hattebergs who push around the bases until they win the game? What if Freel getting picked off is more disruptive to the other team and more likely to lead to a win than someone else trudging up to the plate, taking their swings and trudging back to the bench without hitting a home run this time?

RedsManRick
08-01-2007, 03:38 PM
:beerme:

Reds management needs to realize that casual fans don't boo a winner. Casual fans will come out to support a winner and will not come out as often to watch a loser. Everything else is secondary.

BCubb -- I hope you were somewhat exaggerating, but I think you do make a point. Fans want action. Many fans would rather lose 4-3 and have 3 guys thrown out on the bases and a whole bunch of ground ball outs than win 4-3 with 3 walks a grand slam in the 1st inning followed by a parade of strikeouts. Fans cheer for both appreciation and admiration. In the even that they can't cheer for appreciation, they'd at least like something to admire...

What's interesting is the relationship you mention between hustle & talent.

The common person can always appreciate hustle. You can empathize because their own life requires it. It's a choice, to hustle or not hustle. It's a "character" issue. Because of that, it absolves the player of responsibility for the outcome. You can't ask any more form a person than that, right? You win some, you lose some, but hustle means at least you're trying. It means you're doing everything within your control to win.

The common person cannot always appreciate talent. Talent (at least as a perception) is God given. It's not Ryan Freel's fault that he can't hit 40 homers. We might even be a little jealous, or even resentful. If a guy uses his talent to do something great, we attribute that success to his talent, not his character. But when his talent fails him, particularly when it looks like it was absent hustle, well, then we can blame the person. When Dunn strikes out, it's not because he lacks the skill to make contact or judge a pitch properly. It's because he's not trying hard enough.

Ironically, winning at the professional level takes both talent and hustle. As you point out, the blue collar mentality emphasis the latter, and deemphasizes the former. Ryan Freel is lauded for the "character" that allows him to play at the professional level where he might otherwise fail. Dunn is booed for not "hustling" enough to maximize his talent.

It's funny to me. These things don't seem to matter as much when you're winning. However, in the absence of wins, fans at least want to think you're trying as hard as you can. The fans shoot themselves in the proverbial foot. Hopefully ownership & management can realize that the fans don't know what's good for them. Occasionally that includes announcers too. Unfortunately, I fear that we might have a GM who is a"casual fan" when it comes to evaluating contribution to winning.

RANDY IN INDY
08-01-2007, 03:44 PM
It takes the right blend of talent and hustle to win. You definitely need the talented and gifted players, but you also need to surround them with a little bit of grit and desire. The two, when played off of in the right mix, are usually a recipe for winning. It takes some vision and luck to put the two together.

Personally, I think this team is, basically, poorly constructed. It's way past time to make some changes cause the current model is never going to get anything done.

RedsManRick
08-01-2007, 03:52 PM
Fans would rather overachieving hustle that loses than underachieving talent that loses.

The problem with this is that the "talent" can turn it around and start winning eventually; the "hustle" can't. It's a horribly gross simplification, but that's the problem in a nutshell.

In reality, all players have both talent and hustle to varying degrees. But when you start to prioritize hustle over talent, and you build a team that's short on talent, no amount of hustle will make up for that. Eventually, after you lose for the 9th consecutive year, fans become bitter that the talent they do have isn't enough. If only they'd hustle more... You never hear fans complaining the hustle they have isn't talented enough.

RANDY IN INDY
08-01-2007, 04:13 PM
I agree that no amount of hustle can make up for lack of ability. I also agree that a lot of fans don't know the difference between hustle and perceived hustle. What I do know is that a little bit of hustle can make up for lack of performance and a glimpse of that from some players, every once in a while, would do wonders for fan perception. I have played with and coached, many a talented athlete, and more than a few talented ones are more than happy to get by on the talent and sometimes look and be a little bit lazy, to say the least.

From a personal standpoint, I was always accused of not hustling when I played basketball and baseball, simply because my arms and legs were not flying around in 10 different directions when I was playing. I was what you might call, "smooth," and although I may not have looked like I was hustling, I was getting the same job done that the "whirling dervish, Mr. Hustle" was getting done. Just in a different way. I know all about perception. All I had to do to get the coach off my back was to dive after a ball that there was no way in the world that I could get to. For most, that showed "real hustle." For me, it was a waste of energy, but usually effective. It's all about picking your spots and being smart.

There are certain players who are lazy, and there are certain players who are perceived to be lazy. Those of us with a brain know the difference and can call a "spade" a "spade" when we see it. There are a couple of spades on this Reds team. There are also a couple who are sometimes called a "spade" when in reality, they are not.

BCubb2003
08-01-2007, 04:15 PM
BCubb -- I hope you were somewhat exaggerating, but I think you do make a point. Fans want action. Many fans would rather lose 4-3 and have 3 guys thrown out on the bases and a whole bunch of ground ball outs than win 4-3 with 3 walks a grand slam in the 1st inning followed by a parade of strikeouts. Fans cheer for both appreciation and admiration. In the even that they can't cheer for appreciation, they'd at least like something to admire...


It is somewhat of an exaggeration, but I'm willing to allow for the possibility that even when Freel gets picked off, the constant poking, prodding and scrambling means the other team is under constant, wearing stress. We might see the pick-off as an individual event, and a weak OBP made worse, but the pitcher might walk the next batter and give up a run-scoring double. That's a different dynamic from waiting around for a home run, which usually means waiting for a mistake pitch that might not come.

But really, it's the pitching, pitching, pitching. Find a legitimate closer and Weathers becomes a decent set-up man instead of two-inning closer running on fumes. Find a couple of decent middle relief guys and the starters suddenly get better. Find a decent starter to go with Harang and Arroyo and suddenly the offense is capable of winning more games.

This is more likely to happen, I think, than getting rid of everyone and using that money to buy better players than the ones you got rid of.

Unassisted
08-01-2007, 04:21 PM
I went to school at OSU and noticed a different mentality up there, it was a just win mentality. I remember looking back at some of the old buckeye teams that were loaded with talent but never won. That was the ultimate demise of John Cooper. I find it ironic that most people consider the 99 season a successful season. They speak highly of a season in which the reds were on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

While your overall topic is interesting and worthy of discussion, I think this is a flawed comparison because of the difference between college football and MLB standards of performance.

An MLB team can win 100 of 162 games, roughly 2/3 of its games, and be the favorite to win the WS.

A college football team that wins about 2/3 of its games and ends up 8-4 or 9-3 wouldn't have a prayer of getting a BCS bid and would thus have zero chance at a national championship. An Ohio State football coach who won 2/3 of his games would be lucky to keep his job for more than 2 seasons of that level of performance. "Just win" is the absolute measure of success in Columbus. The Reds can lose 1/3 of their games and still be considered successful.

Ltlabner
08-01-2007, 04:31 PM
I'm always a little putt-off by how the general vibe of RZ is to deride and poo-poo the blue-collared "work ethic" nature of the city.

I know folks say they appricate hustle when it's combined with tallent, but that's not really how it comes off. It's always framed (and in fact, framed this way in the original post) that somehow appricating a visable work ethic is somehow hick-ish and complelty out of touch with the baseball world.

I don't think the citys blue-collar apprication of hard work and humility has much to do with the state of the ball club at all. In fact, I'd say it has nothing to do with it at all.

Go to any big baseball city. The highly paid star will get booed for the slightest mistake. The "underdog" who runs hard, plays hard but generally doesn't have much tallent almost always gets cheered and praised. This isn't inherrant to Cincy.

bucksfan2
08-01-2007, 04:42 PM
While your overall topic is interesting and worthy of discussion, I think this is a flawed comparison because of the difference between college football and MLB standards of performance.

An MLB team can win 100 of 162 games, roughly 2/3 of its games, and be the favorite to win the WS.

A college football team that wins about 2/3 of its games and ends up 8-4 or 9-3 wouldn't have a prayer of getting a BCS bid and would thus have zero chance at a national championship. An Ohio State football coach who won 2/3 of his games would be lucky to keep his job for more than 2 seasons of that level of performance. "Just win" is the absolute measure of success in Columbus. The Reds can lose 1/3 of their games and still be considered successful.

This was prior to the Tressel arrival and although it is a college town I went to school with a lot of cleveland people and their mindset on sports.

As for Hustle I think it is greatly overvalued. For example I think hustling can hide quite a few ineffencies. Watch when Hamilton is in CF. You can get a better picture of it when you are at a game. He is a natural athlete but he is also supremely fundamental out there in the field. When you hear someone say "wow he made that look easy" it shows you what type of player they are. I have never once heard anyone say that about Freel. He doesn't make anything look easy but he speed hides a lot of flaws in his game that do show themselves from time to time. He tends to spend a lot of energy and make a lot of plays difficult because of his poor fundamentals. But he looks like he is hustling so most people are ok with that. Another thing I noticed about Freel is that when he bats he ends up on his back foot. This delays him for a precious split second and denies him of several base hits a year. He scoots down the line but if he had proper mechanics he would be even more successful. When an above poster used the word "smooth" that struck a cord with me. Whenever a player looks smooth that is a good thing. Players who make plays look smooth get good jumps on the ball, get in position, and make plays without exerting an too much energy.

I for one like watching that natural athlete out there. I like watching when players make something difficult look easy. It doesn't matter to me if a runner is hustling down the first base line a la Casey or if a player is jogging down the line when the play results in an out. I like aggressive baseball I just like when it is done the right way. Trying to extend a single into a double is a situation where you have to pick you spots. I think the reds management should give tapes of Larkin to all of their faster players just to watch and learn. I basically like watching good hard baseball. I like watching the angles type of baseball.

Ltlabner
08-01-2007, 04:48 PM
Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.

pedro
08-01-2007, 04:51 PM
Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.


Hustle and hard work aren't the same thing.

RANDY IN INDY
08-01-2007, 04:54 PM
Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.

"Talent may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there."

John Wooden

:beerme:

RANDY IN INDY
08-01-2007, 04:54 PM
Or steroids.;)

Ltlabner
08-01-2007, 05:06 PM
Hustle and hard work aren't the same thing.

True, I guess, to a point.

If you strictly define hustle as "running as fast and hard as you can". Sure, if you narrowly pigeonhole the concept into that framework they are seperate ideas.

However, I appreicate a player who works his tail off and gives his all to it's full extent (doesn't mean I want a team full of them, or that energy might need to be used wisely to avoid causing more harm than good).

I find people who are supreemly tallented but only use 2/3rds of that tallent and coast the rest of the way distastefull. (which, by the way, in no shape, form or fashion does that comment have anything to do with our favorite left-fielder from Texas).

RedsManRick
08-01-2007, 05:27 PM
Hustle isn't just running fast to cover bad routes to the ball.

It includes getting to the ball-park first to hit the batting cage and review tape. It includes spending extra time with the batting instructor when you are in a funk. It includes taking extra in-field practice if needed. It includes hitting the weight room when you'd rather be driving your new Porche.

I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.

You gotta have the tallent. No doubt there. But without hard work you will never maximize all you can do.

And Ken Griffey Jr. still gets labled as lazy despite the fact that he put in long, long days rehabbing. As you describe, a lot of the "hustle" doesn't take place in front of the fans.

ARod, from all acounts, is one of the hardest working players in baseball. Yes, he's also supremely talented. I imagine that if we could somehow compare the reality of how hard a player works off the field with the perception, we'd see a very different picture. I bet many fans assume that a lot of very talented players slack off more than their less talented counterparts.

Ltlabner
08-01-2007, 05:30 PM
And Ken Griffey Jr. still gets labled as lazy despite the fact that he put in long, long days rehabbing. As you describe, a lot of the "hustle" doesn't take place in front of the fans.

Well, I think that part of it is directly atributable to the "blue collar" mentality. They (sorry to be sterotpical) generally want to see tangiable signs of hard work. Run to your position, run hard, freak out and toss a water cooler when you strike out, etc. Cincy is really a blue-collar town. And again, generally speaking blue collar folks want to see something they can identify with...hard work, oriented towards manual effort.

The same as an hourly worker deriding management for "sitting around" all day when, in fact, both hourly and management are working hard...just in different ways.

Personally, I'm far more interested in hard work, however it manifests itself, not just flashy displays that are easy to identify.

westofyou
08-01-2007, 05:35 PM
freak out and toss a water cooler when you strike out, etc.

Football mentality applied to baseball.

It never really fits does it, baseball is a series of one on one battles that are awash in al sorts of variables, played over and over for six months of the year.

Football is head to head war in a team formation, built up for a week and applied to a 3 hour window only 16 times a year, all displayed in a fit of energy that would make Neal Cassidy blush.

The greatest disservice baseball has done to fans is that it looks so damn easy half the time.

But it ain't it's a grind of major proportions and a game that is truly a game of inches, not brute force and war room charting.

MWM
08-01-2007, 06:26 PM
I've never figured out why some here don't care for hard work.


Oh please! Who here "doesn't care for hard work"? That's just silly.

I think everyone appreciates hard work.

RANDY IN INDY
08-01-2007, 06:32 PM
I liked what John Wooden said about the emotional mentality of some. He said, "For every artificial peak you create, there is a valley. I don't like valleys. Games are lost in valleys. Therefore, I wasn't much for giving speaches to stir up emotions before a game. If you need emotionalism to make you perform better, than sooner or later you'll be vulnerable, an emotion away from being anable to function at your level of ability. I prefer thorough preparation over some device to make us "rise to the occasion". Let others try to rise suddenly to a higher level than they had attained previously. I want to have already attained that level through preparation and be there to begin with. A speach by me shouldn't be necessary. My ideal is an ever-rising graph line that peaks with your final performance."

Chip R
08-01-2007, 06:37 PM
I liked what John Wooden said about the emotional mentality of some. He said, "For every artificial peak you create, there is a valley. I don't like valleys. Games are lost in valleys. Therefore, I wasn't much for giving speaches to stir up emotions before a game. If you need emotionalism to make you perform better, than sooner or later you'll be vulnerable, an emotion away from being anable to function at your level of ability. I prefer thorough preparation over some device to make us "rise to the occasion". Let others try to rise suddenly to a higher level than they had attained previously. I want to have already attained that level through preparation and be there to begin with. A speach by me shouldn't be necessary. My ideal is an ever-rising graph line that peaks with your final performance."


Good points, Randy. I think that's especially important to remember over a 162 game season over a 6 month period.

pedro
08-01-2007, 06:39 PM
freak out and toss a water cooler when you strike out,

all that tells me is that someone may have anger management issues. it sure doesn't tell me that a guy's a hard worker.

Ltlabner
08-01-2007, 06:40 PM
Oh please! Who here "doesn't care for hard work"? That's just silly.

I think everyone appreciates hard work.

Even when it manifests itself as running hard and scrappyness?

Yea, didn't think so.

Look, all I am saying is that in the rush to be clever and point out that on-field hustle doesn't always mean tallent or skill, that ocassionally the impression is given that actual hard work is not appreciated.

It also means that fans that mean well, but identify with visable signs of hustle can also overlook the actual "behind-the-sceens" hard work (which is usually far more valuable).

Yachtzee
08-01-2007, 07:09 PM
Well, I think that part of it is directly atributable to the "blue collar" mentality. They (sorry to be sterotpical) generally want to see tangiable signs of hard work. Run to your position, run hard, freak out and toss a water cooler when you strike out, etc. Cincy is really a blue-collar town. And again, generally speaking blue collar folks want to see something they can identify with...hard work, oriented towards manual effort.

The same as an hourly worker deriding management for "sitting around" all day when, in fact, both hourly and management are working hard...just in different ways.

Personally, I'm far more interested in hard work, however it manifests itself, not just flashy displays that are easy to identify.

I don't think Cincinnati has a "blue-collar" mentality. Cleveland is far and away more "blue-collar" than Cincinnati and there is a different attitude toward sports teams and athletes here than there is in Cincinnati. Cincinnati's attitude towards it's athletes is sui generis, something unique in and of itself. When it comes to baseball, I'd say Cincinnati has a "Pete Rose" attitude that favors hustle above all else. Cleveland, and other blue collar towns I've been to, have a combination of a "put up or shut up" mentality when it comes to its own players, and a "circle the wagons" mentality when it comes to outsiders' opinions of the team. They essentially say "I can dis the Browns or the Indians because I'm from Cleveland, but you better not do it." They really identify with the teams.

Personally, I think Cincinnati's general attitude reflects the attitude of the Southern Germans that made up a sizable portion of the population in the early days of the town. It's a bit complex but there's this combination of laid-back politeness and finding pleasure in the simpler things in life, coupled with manic depression, self-loathing and an underlying current of prejudice (at least in some circles). When things are going good, Cincinnatians can kick back and enjoy it like the best of them. When things are going poorly, they're ready with the torches and pitchforks.

Of course Cincinnatians do love a good "hustler." It's almost funny that the two biggest things to come out of Cincinnati in the last half of the 20th Century were Charlie Hustle and Hustler Magazine.

vaticanplum
08-01-2007, 10:00 PM
I don't think Cincinnati has a "blue-collar" mentality. Cleveland is far and away more "blue-collar" than Cincinnati and there is a different attitude toward sports teams and athletes here than there is in Cincinnati. Cincinnati's attitude towards it's athletes is sui generis, something unique in and of itself. When it comes to baseball, I'd say Cincinnati has a "Pete Rose" attitude that favors hustle above all else. Cleveland, and other blue collar towns I've been to, have a combination of a "put up or shut up" mentality when it comes to its own players, and a "circle the wagons" mentality when it comes to outsiders' opinions of the team. They essentially say "I can dis the Browns or the Indians because I'm from Cleveland, but you better not do it." They really identify with the teams.

Personally, I think Cincinnati's general attitude reflects the attitude of the Southern Germans that made up a sizable portion of the population in the early days of the town. It's a bit complex but there's this combination of laid-back politeness and finding pleasure in the simpler things in life, coupled with manic depression, self-loathing and an underlying current of prejudice (at least in some circles). When things are going good, Cincinnatians can kick back and enjoy it like the best of them. When things are going poorly, they're ready with the torches and pitchforks.

Of course Cincinnatians do love a good "hustler." It's almost funny that the two biggest things to come out of Cincinnati in the last half of the 20th Century were Charlie Hustle and Hustler Magazine.

As long as we're stereotyping, I pretty much totally agree with this.

As far as work ethic goes, I don't find Cincinnati to be a city with a better work ethic than any other American city -- that is to say, America as a whole has one of the strongest work ethics in the world. Cincinnati certainly seems to talk about it a lot more but that's about the only difference that I see. Further, I don't see what that has to do with baseball. Most baseball players are hard-working. New York is a hard-working city with a good baseball team. Kansas City is a hard-working city with a terrible baseball team. San Francisco is a city whose laid-back vibe belies its strong work ethic and it has a mediocre baseball team. It's apples and apples. Americans by and large work pretty hard and expect pretty much the same things out of their public figures and sports teams. I know of no baseball fan anywhere who takes pride in the members of his or her team who loaf.

Face it, in Cincinnati or anywhere else in America, all the talk of work ethic is always ultimately overrun by results. Paul O'Neill very visibly worked his butt off but when the team stopped winning the fans turned on him. If Mr. Loafy McLoafsalot* Adam Dunn had hit his walk-off grand slam in game 7 of the world series, he'd have been elected mayor and had the Suspension Bridge put under his tree the following Christmas. And that's a very typical and understandable mentality. The only reason we have the time on our hands to explore the human take on work ethic or the mentality of midwestern sports fans is because our team is so bad.

*tongue-in-cheek. I do not think Adam Dunn is a loafer.

camisadelgolf
08-01-2007, 11:35 PM
http://borgman.enquirer.com/img/toons/cincivinest1.gif

SteelSD
08-02-2007, 01:09 AM
Even when it manifests itself as running hard and scrappyness?

Yea, didn't think so.

Look, all I am saying is that in the rush to be clever and point out that on-field hustle doesn't always mean tallent or skill, that ocassionally the impression is given that actual hard work is not appreciated.

It also means that fans that mean well, but identify with visable signs of hustle can also overlook the actual "behind-the-sceens" hard work (which is usually far more valuable).

Hard work and hustle are always appreciated. Always. The problem is that most- if not all- fans have no earthy clue how hard a player works. Likewise, most folks have no idea how to properly identify "hustle" given the various body types for baseball players. In the end, it's perception and perception is far too often not reality.

Baseball is a game involving more randomness than most fans are willing to admit. Yet, the average fan ties "result" to "effort" consistently. If the result is less than what we want, we first assume it's due to a lack of effort and then look for visual clues demonstrating a lack of effort. It's backwards analysis and it's just flat out wrong. For example, Norris Hopper hustles. He plays hard. But Hopper doesn't produce. Yet, unfortunately, too many folks (Marty Brennaman included) think that his effort level is somehow relevant. It's not, but that's the antiquated thought process for such a player.

If you see a denigration of "scrappy", it's generally because the person writing the post is sick and tired of hearing that effort is somehow a substitute for actual performance.

BCubb2003
08-02-2007, 01:23 AM
I'd consider Brandon Phillips' two stolen bases tonight the ultimate example of hustle. Greater than running out bases on balls or jumping into the stands after a foul ball.

camisadelgolf
08-02-2007, 01:36 AM
Dunn could pay people to carry him to first base; as long as the Reds are winning, the casual fans, who greatly outnumber the "real" fans, are much happier.

Ltlabner
08-02-2007, 06:30 AM
Hard work and hustle are always appreciated. Always. The problem is that most- if not all- fans have no earthy clue how hard a player works.


It also means that fans that mean well, but identify with visable signs of hustle can also overlook the actual "behind-the-sceens" hard work (which is usually far more valuable).

I copied part of my quote to demonstrate that we are saying the same thing. I agree that fans often overvalue the wrong forms of hustle. I place a premium on hard work, most casual fans want to see some tanagable "result" of hard work. Unfortunatley, those tangable results in many cases have nothing to do with producing runs.

But I'm glad you brought up "Chuck" Norris Hopper. The oft derided player who acomplished....


was recalled from Class AAA Louisville, where he was an International League All-Star and the Bats' Most Valuable Player (98g, .347, 25sb)...was the leading votegetter among IL All-Star outfielders...led the IL and ranked second in all of Class AAA with the highest batting average in Louisville franchise history (.347)...was Louisville's first batting champion since Cardinals farmhand Dmitri Young led the league in 1996...his BA ranked 12th among all minor league hitters...while with the Bats he struck out just 25 times in 383 plate apps...

Not too shabby. I imagine it took many hard hours of workouts, watching tape, time spent in the cage, etc to obtain what shoud be considered an acomplishment and the mark of the type of player that would be handy to have around......Yet here at Reds zone he's mocked as a result of the insinuation that he should replace Dunn (which is a horrable, horrable idea). That's what I meant about the "rush to be clever". This kid worked hard and achieved some good things in AAA, I'd call that hustle. Does that equal MLB success, maybe, maybe not. Do I want an entire team of Hoppers? Of course not. Do I want to see Hopper in the line-up every day? Oh God no.

But because he's somehow linked to Dunn, and becuase he's been praised by a certian evil radio broadcaster it's snide comments about [/insert dripping sarcasim and rolled eyes] "he's a run producer" [/end sarcasim] and routine mockery. Here's a kid who could be a usefull 4th OF type for a couple of years (especially considering the age of Jr, the injury-proneness of Hamilton and we don't want to see Freel out there every day) yet on RZ he's cast aside.

Ltlabner
08-02-2007, 06:40 AM
Personally, I think Cincinnati's general attitude reflects the attitude of the Southern Germans that made up a sizable portion of the population in the early days of the town. It's a bit complex but there's this combination of laid-back politeness and finding pleasure in the simpler things in life, coupled with manic depression, self-loathing and an underlying current of prejudice (at least in some circles). When things are going good, Cincinnatians can kick back and enjoy it like the best of them. When things are going poorly, they're ready with the torches and pitchforks. .

Well, I disagree about the blue-collar part. We are not as industrial as Cleveland, true. But Cincinnati until the 1990's had a strong presence of machine tool manfacutring, auto mfg/assembly, aircraft engine manufacturing and so on. Cincinnati Milicron is a shadow of it's former self. The auto plant in Norwood (Ford?) was torn down, and now the Batavia transmission plant is closing. There's still a big Ford plant in Sharonville. General Electric laid off thousands and is nowhere as big as what they used to be. Tool and Die shops have dried up. In the 1990's several large steel fabricating plants in Cincy went bust.

Cincinnati of 2007 is nowhere near as "industrial" as it was in say 1980.

But your point about the Germanic influence and the results is spot on. Great point.

GAC
08-02-2007, 09:07 AM
It takes the right blend of talent and hustle to win. You definitely need the talented and gifted players, but you also need to surround them with a little bit of grit and desire. The two, when played off of in the right mix, are usually a recipe for winning. It takes some vision and luck to put the two together.

Personally, I think this team is, basically, poorly constructed. It's way past time to make some changes cause the current model is never going to get anything done.

We could use some consistent .300 hitters on this team IMHO. ;)

bucksfan2
08-02-2007, 09:18 AM
I'd consider Brandon Phillips' two stolen bases tonight the ultimate example of hustle. Greater than running out bases on balls or jumping into the stands after a foul ball.

I see it a little differently than you. I see Phillips knowledge of the game and the situation. From the get go Phillips knows if he can steal second it would be very difficult for Zimmerman to catch him at third. There is a lot that went into that double steal that most of us realize. It was getting a good read on the pitchers move to home as well as first, getting a good jump, and making the split second decision to try and stretch in to third. It was great hustle but it was also a great baseball play.

RANDY IN INDY
08-02-2007, 09:38 AM
We could use some consistent .300 hitters on this team IMHO. ;)

There is no doubt about that.:)

Chip R
08-02-2007, 10:42 AM
I think most cities and people - obviously since people live in cities - like to think of themselves as "blue collar" even if they are not. It's somewhat a badge of honor to be "blue collar". You're not poor but you're not rich. You work but you aren't in some ivory tower somewhere.

harangatang
08-02-2007, 11:27 PM
It's somewhat a badge of honor to be "blue collar".My dad claims it's prestigious to go somewhere all dirty because it shows you're a hard worker. I don't buy into it as I see it as quite embarrassing.