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View Full Version : Joe Maddon is out of hand as a manager...



Matt700wlw
08-07-2008, 01:20 PM
How dare he hold his players accountable...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080806&content_id=3262918&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Upton out of lineup for lack of hustle
08/06/2008 6:58 PM ET
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- B.J. Upton was out of the Rays' starting lineup Wednesday afternoon, as manager Joe Maddon was miffed that the outfielder didn't run out a ground ball in Tuesday night's game.
"When it comes down to individual effort, it takes absolutely zero talent -- zero -- to try hard and play hard every day," Maddon said. "I'm OK with physical mistakes, with mental mistakes; I'm accepting of all that. The part that I'm not accepting of is the part that you can control. And that's your effort."

The Rays skipper was particularly upset about Upton's lack of hustle given the talk him he had with the team in Kansas City, following a similar incident with Akinori Iwamura.

"Without any gray areas, [I] told them exactly what was going to happen," Maddon said of the meeting. "And it's happening."

Upton gave a lackadaisical jog to first base in his final at-bat, after hitting the ball back to pitcher Edward Mujica, and Maddon would have preferred to remove the outfielder immediately but was out of position players.

The 23-year-old Upton has often shown flashes of superior effort, including a stellar catch in the seventh inning on Tuesday, retiring Cleveland's Ben Francisco on a deep fly ball.

"You just can't pick and choose when you put your effort out there," Maddon said. "It has be all the time."

Typically a laid-back manager, Maddon said he addressed the matter directly following Tuesday's game and that Upton "listened" accordingly.

"It just comes down to respect," Maddon said. "Respect for yourself and respect for the organization."

Following Wednesday's game, Upton took no issue with Maddon's stance.

"I didn't run it out," Upton admitted. "Lesson learned. It's over. Done with. Moved on."

Maddon was also ready to put the situation behind the club.

"It's a dead issue," he said. "I want to be consistent in what I say. He will be back [Thursday]."

In Upton's place, the Rays gave recently recalled infielder Ben Zobrist a start in center field on Wednesday and inserted Willy Aybar into the shortstop role for Zobrist.

Although the club is still without regular shortstop Jason Bartlett in the field, the infielder was in Wednesday's lineup as the designated hitter.

During Sunday's game, Bartlett was hit by a pitch on his right index finger, and although he has taken batting practice, the shortstop sat on both Monday and Tuesday.

"He's OK to hit, he just couldn't throw today," Maddon said.

Bartlett was seen playing light catch prior to Wednesday's game and the Rays are hopeful he will be ready to join the defense for Thursday's game in Seattle.

"It's soon," Maddon said of Bartlett's return to shortstop.

Backstop Shawn Riggans -- who was also hit by a pitch in Sunday's game -- was out of Wednesday's lineup as well.

After taking a blistering fastball in the chest, Riggans reported to be more sore on Tuesday than he was initially and the club decided to use caution with its backup catcher.

flyer85
08-07-2008, 01:25 PM
when the Reds never called Jr on it, it didn't work well if they tried to discipline someone else(EE, Phillips).

Nugget
08-07-2008, 02:58 PM
Even when he is gone Junior is reviled. Next he will be responsible for the slide by the REDS post July 31.

Highlifeman21
08-07-2008, 03:06 PM
Even when he is gone Junior is reviled. Next he will be responsible for the slide by the REDS post July 31.

It's no secret the Reds had a special set of rules for Junior and only Junior upon his arrival.

It's not reviling a person when you're pointing out the blatantly obvious.

flyer85
08-07-2008, 03:16 PM
It's no secret the Reds had a special set of rules for Junior and only Junior upon his arrival.

It's not reviling a person when you're pointing out the blatantly obvious.I never got on Jr for not running out grounders, I understood the reasoning. He had to protect his legs and why blow out a hammy just for show.

Albeit I did complain when he would go into a HR trot and turn a double into a single because he thought the ball was going out.

bucksfan2
08-07-2008, 03:31 PM
I never got on Jr for not running out grounders, I understood the reasoning. He had to protect his legs and why blow out a hammy just for show.

Albeit I did complain when he would go into a HR trot and turn a double into a single because he thought the ball was going out.

To be honest I don't think a lot of people understood why Jr didn't run out all ground balls. However I think it set a bad example for everyone else on the club. I think the other players realized the situation Jr was in yet they thought they didn't have to run out groundballs becasue the leader didn't.

BCubb2003
08-07-2008, 03:36 PM
When Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford first used it, Charlie Hustle was not a compliment.

cincrazy
08-07-2008, 03:38 PM
It's a whole lot easier for a manager on a good team to discipline player's. The team's winning, not much stress to go around, the player nods his head, bites his tongue, and accepts it (see Rollins, Jimmy).

flyer85
08-07-2008, 03:41 PM
When Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford first used it, Charlie Hustle was not a compliment.
it was a term of derision.

bucksfan2
08-07-2008, 03:55 PM
When Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford first used it, Charlie Hustle was not a compliment.

But you don't think Rose's style of game made the others on his team hustle a little bit more? Whether or not you think it matters I doubt Upton will lolly gag a ground ball for the rest of the sesaon. I doubt Rollins will be late to a team function this season.

IMO if you allow one player jog out a gound ball or play with a lack of urgency you will see other teammates begin to adapt that style. Look at the Reds this season. Most of the veterans have played with a lack of urgency since about the 4th week of the season. The last thing you want is Votto or Bruce to adapt that playing style and have it carry on to next season.

BCubb2003
08-07-2008, 04:03 PM
Oh, I agree that running out grounders and running out doubles are good things. Mantle and Ford were probably mocking Rose's running out walks. There's hustle, then there's Jim Edmonds-style hustle. Some of the more visible aspects of hustle are probably overrated.

wolfboy
08-07-2008, 04:27 PM
In the grand scheme of things, what does it really matter? Say a lackluster trot costs you the game. One game on a team with no talent doesn't mean a thing. I'm not really defending Jr. here, because I think it applies across the board. This team stinks and all the hustle in the world won't get them into the playoffs. It's just going to make a segment of fans feel better about rooting for a loser.

Whenever some incident like this occurs, someone posts the story on redszone and insinuates that this is some major problem with the Reds. Sorry, but the only problem I see on this team is a lack of talent.

This town is just 'hustle' obsessed, and I just don't get it. I don't care about recliners and couches in the clubhouse. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360? I'm not concerned. All I care about is manufacturing runs and preventing runs. I'm of the opinion that hustle doesn't significantly affect either one. Until I see some compelling evidence to the contrary, I'll keep rolling my eyes at stories like this.

bucksfan2
08-07-2008, 04:43 PM
In the grand scheme of things, what does it really matter? Say a lackluster trot costs you the game. One game on a team with no talent doesn't mean a thing. I'm not really defending Jr. here, because I think it applies across the board. This team stinks and all the hustle in the world won't get them into the playoffs. It's just going to make a segment of fans feel better about rooting for a loser.

Whenever some incident like this occurs, someone posts the story on redszone and insinuates that this is some major problem with the Reds. Sorry, but the only problem I see on this team is a lack of talent.

This town is just 'hustle' obsessed, and I just don't get it. I don't care about recliners and couches in the clubhouse. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360? I'm not concerned. All I care about is manufacturing runs and preventing runs. I'm of the opinion that hustle doesn't significantly affect either one. Until I see some compelling evidence to the contrary, I'll keep rolling my eyes at stories like this.


Ok Vent

Here is my point. The Reds have mailed it in this season. They mailed it in quite a while ago. They didn't mail it in because Jr didn't run down the line. But why is it too much to except that a professional team plays smart and hard? Why is it too much to ask that the veterans on the team play hard day in day out? Why is it too much to ask for the veterans to set a good example for the rookies?

I understand that the season is long. I understand that after opening day most players don't feel 100%. I understand that all the travel and very few off days can wear on a player. But what I don't understand is when a player doesn't play hard. He doesn't play to the best of his abilities on a given day. If the current version of the Reds played for a high school baseball coach they would be running laps all day long for their percieved lack of effort. Losing sucks, I get that. However, it is not an excuse to not play hard. Does it matter? I don't know but you don't see the better teams playing the way the Reds are right now.

Highlifeman21
08-07-2008, 04:52 PM
To address the Rays' manager, I'm glad he holds a young kid like Upton accountable for not running out a routine play.

Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile, or something like that.

Nip apathy in the bud.

SunDeck
08-07-2008, 05:00 PM
Not running out ground balls has been around since the game began. It's a long season and veterans know they need to protect themselves and conserve their bodies for the long haul. It's not nearly as bad as having a couch in the clubhouse. ;)

wolfboy
08-07-2008, 05:08 PM
Ok Vent

Here is my point. The Reds have mailed it in this season. They mailed it in quite a while ago. They didn't mail it in because Jr didn't run down the line. But why is it too much to except that a professional team plays smart and hard? Why is it too much to ask that the veterans on the team play hard day in day out? Why is it too much to ask for the veterans to set a good example for the rookies?

I understand that the season is long. I understand that after opening day most players don't feel 100%. I understand that all the travel and very few off days can wear on a player. But what I don't understand is when a player doesn't play hard. He doesn't play to the best of his abilities on a given day. If the current version of the Reds played for a high school baseball coach they would be running laps all day long for their percieved lack of effort. Losing sucks, I get that. However, it is not an excuse to not play hard. Does it matter? I don't know but you don't see the better teams playing the way the Reds are right now.

David Wells claims that he pitched a perfect game half drunk. Knowing his modus operandi, I don't have any reason to doubt that. Is that the type of professionalism you're talking about? He played for the Yankees at the time. The poster team for this alleged 'take care of business' approach.

Until someone can show me that running laps or making a player sit out a game does anything other than make the fans or the coach feel better, then I'm not buying it.

Team Clark
08-07-2008, 11:10 PM
In a game of inches, hustle can matter the most.

macro
08-08-2008, 12:06 AM
All I care about is manufacturing runs and preventing runs. I'm of the opinion that hustle doesn't significantly affect either one. Until I see some compelling evidence to the contrary, I'll keep rolling my eyes at stories like this.


An infielder that sees a player loafing down the line knows he has plenty of time to make the throw. An infielder that sees a player hustling down the line sometimes rushes and either misplays the ball or makes a wild throw. That one play may make the difference in one game. (I have seen it happen.) One game may make the difference in a season. (That has happened many times.) I have no stat or metric to prove that it is so, just thirty-some years of observation.

And I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "need to conserve their bodies" argument. There are chain-smoking, overweight, 50-year-old guys running jackhammers ten hours a day. Surely a finely-tuned professional athlete in the prime of his career can run out a couple of ground balls a day.

penantboundreds
08-08-2008, 12:23 AM
As negative as this board is sometimes, I can't believe that the majority here do not think the Reds lackadaisical attitude is a problem.

Tonight alone here are two things that stuck out in my head,

1. Bruce drops the ball in right field because he trots over and tries to catch the ball on the run instead of sprinting and camping (which is taught at every level).

2. In the ninth inning David Ross gets to second base on a ball hit by Big Boy Valentine down the left field line that spins away from Carlos Lee. David Ross should have been on third base EASILY.

My point, taking extra bases (1st to third), taking home because you hustled to third and made the outfielder think about it and have to come up throwing (Dunn bobbled because Tejada was booking it around third).

Putting pressure on defenders (be it in A ball or the major leagues) makes fielders make plays. We make the game so much easier for the opposition it is unbelievable. Do you really argue this?

penantboundreds
08-08-2008, 12:25 AM
Can anyone find out stats on errors made by other teams against us? I would imagine the Reds (and their lack of hustle) would be last. Teams look like they have 9 gold glovers out there because we simply let them. If you can get that stat I think it would be very telling.

MWM
08-08-2008, 12:39 AM
As negative as this board is sometimes, I can't believe that the majority here do not think the Reds lackadaisical attitude is a problem.

Some don't think the Reds really have a lacksadaisical attitude. They're just not that good and that can make it appear like they're mailing it in, when in fact they're probably trying as hard as they always have.


1. Bruce drops the ball in right field because he trots over and tries to catch the ball on the run instead of sprinting and camping (which is taught at every level).

I bet if you watched any of the playoff teams on a daily basis you'd see this same stuff happening there as well. It happens over a long season.

wolfboy
08-08-2008, 08:59 AM
An infielder that sees a player loafing down the line knows he has plenty of time to make the throw. An infielder that sees a player hustling down the line sometimes rushes and either misplays the ball or makes a wild throw. That one play may make the difference in one game. (I have seen it happen.) One game may make the difference in a season. (That has happened many times.) I have no stat or metric to prove that it is so, just thirty-some years of observation.

And I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "need to conserve their bodies" argument. There are chain-smoking, overweight, 50-year-old guys running jackhammers ten hours a day. Surely a finely-tuned professional athlete in the prime of his career can run out a couple of ground balls a day.

It just doesn't matter. One play makes the difference in a season because you choose to look at it that way. The truth is that a lot of plays make the difference in a season. If a team misses the playoffs by one game, you can look back at every game they lost and scapegoat someone or something. For some reason, the unidentifiable and subjective measure of "lack of hustle" reigns supreme in this town.

wolfboy
08-08-2008, 08:59 AM
In a game of inches, hustle can matter the most.

I think that cliche is usually reserved for a different sport.

SteelSD
08-08-2008, 09:28 AM
Some don't think the Reds really have a lacksadaisical attitude. They're just not that good and that can make it appear like they're mailing it in, when in fact they're probably trying as hard as they always have.

Yup. The Reds have exactly ONE regular (Dunn) who's been worth more than a marginal Win above positional average offensively. One. The Reds have exactly one Starting Pitcher with an ERA under MLB average, and that one guy (Volquez) is now regressing to a more reasonable mean. The team has a bunch of kids all hitting the Show at the same time and who are all taking lumps in one way or another.

It ain't "hustle" that's the issue right now.

Wheelhouse
08-08-2008, 09:48 AM
Example of Rose's hustle for "show" as one poster put it: when he hit a single to left he ALWAYS took a huge turn at first base and NEVER pulled up easy. Reasoning: "You just hit the ball to the worst fielder on their team, and he's never going to throw behind you, why not pressure him?" That approach had the other team on pins and needles whenever Rose put the ball in play, and made for an exciting game besides. Joe Maddon told the Rays to forget about "exhibition" and kick everybody's butt in Spring Training. They have not stopped kicking everybody's butt since.

Wheelhouse
08-08-2008, 09:52 AM
It just doesn't matter. One play makes the difference in a season because you choose to look at it that way. The truth is that a lot of plays make the difference in a season. If a team misses the playoffs by one game, you can look back at every game they lost and scapegoat someone or something. For some reason, the unidentifiable and subjective measure of "lack of hustle" reigns supreme in this town.

Again, this skip in logic seems to be infecting the board: if an aspect of the game can't be quantified in statistics, it's either said to not exist, or not be important. Baffling.

durl
08-08-2008, 10:01 AM
As negative as this board is sometimes, I can't believe that the majority here do not think the Reds lackadaisical attitude is a problem.

Tonight alone here are two things that stuck out in my head,

1. Bruce drops the ball in right field because he trots over and tries to catch the ball on the run instead of sprinting and camping (which is taught at every level).

Rookie mistake?


2. In the ninth inning David Ross gets to second base on a ball hit by Big Boy Valentine down the left field line that spins away from Carlos Lee. David Ross should have been on third base EASILY.

I didn't see a camera angle that showed whether the pitcher had run over to cover third base. Ross is not a speedster and the ball was not even halfway into the outfield. IF the pitcher was covering, Ross probably would have been out by a mile.


My point, taking extra bases (1st to third), taking home because you hustled to third and made the outfielder think about it and have to come up throwing (Dunn bobbled because Tejada was booking it around third).

Putting pressure on defenders (be it in A ball or the major leagues) makes fielders make plays. We make the game so much easier for the opposition it is unbelievable. Do you really argue this?

Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. If a Reds player pushed to make a triple out of a double and got thrown out, he'd be blasted for being greedy and taking himself out of scoring position.

Honestly, I don't have a huge problem with players not sprinting to 1B on simple grounders. If every player was benched that did that, 3/4 of major leaguers would be on the bench. Watch teams other than the Reds and you'll see lots of guys jogging to 1B. The Reds aren't the exception here.

wolfboy
08-08-2008, 10:36 AM
Again, this skip in logic seems to be infecting the board: if an aspect of the game can't be quantified in statistics, it's either said to not exist, or not be important. Baffling.

I'll agree that there's a "skip in logic." I think we view it differently.

You can quantify "hustle" to some degree. Want to know the ugly truth about it? In the end, it's statistically insignificant. Griffey and Dunn were the poster children for "lack of hustle" in this town. Guess what? If you have a lineup full of guys like Griffey and Dunn, you are always better off than with a lineup full of guys like Freel and Hopper. Whether they're pleasing to your subjective understanding of the game doesn't matter a bit. You might be able to bunt single your way to hustle euphoria, but that isn't synonymous with a division crown.


Joe Maddon told the Rays to forget about "exhibition" and kick everybody's butt in Spring Training. They have not stopped kicking everybody's butt since.
The baffling part is that you actually think this has anything to do with the Rays big turnaround.

Wheelhouse
08-08-2008, 11:06 AM
I'll agree that there's a "skip in logic." I think we view it differently.

You can quantify "hustle" to some degree. Want to know the ugly truth about it? In the end, it's statistically insignificant. Griffey and Dunn were the poster children for "lack of hustle" in this town. Guess what? If you have a lineup full of guys like Griffey and Dunn, you are always better off than with a lineup full of guys like Freel and Hopper. Whether they're pleasing to your subjective understanding of the game doesn't matter a bit. You might be able to bunt single your way to hustle euphoria, but that isn't synonymous with a division crown.


The baffling part is that you actually think this has anything to do with the Rays big turnaround.

Why choose those players who hustle? Why not make this comparison: are you better off with a roster of Griffeys and Dunns than a roster of Jeters and
Pujols? You seem to associate hustle with a lack of talent.

Wheelhouse
08-08-2008, 11:07 AM
I'll agree that there's a "skip in logic." I think we view it differently.

You can quantify "hustle" to some degree. Want to know the ugly truth about it? In the end, it's statistically insignificant. Griffey and Dunn were the poster children for "lack of hustle" in this town. Guess what? If you have a lineup full of guys like Griffey and Dunn, you are always better off than with a lineup full of guys like Freel and Hopper. Whether they're pleasing to your subjective understanding of the game doesn't matter a bit. You might be able to bunt single your way to hustle euphoria, but that isn't synonymous with a division crown.


The baffling part is that you actually think this has anything to do with the Rays big turnaround.
Could they have done it with no talent? No, but ask ANY professional baseball person and they will tell you that Maddon's approach is inextricable from the Rays success this year. It is actually your view that seems distant and subjective. It is also universally thought in pro circles that the Reds have a talented team, however, they underachieve.

wolfboy
08-08-2008, 11:24 AM
Why choose those players who hustle? Why not make this comparison: are you better off with a roster of Griffeys and Dunns than a roster of Jeters and
Pujols? You seem to associate hustle with a lack of talent.

And you seem to associate hustle with wins. Your example is evidence of it again. I'll gladly take the Dunn lineup over the Jeter lineup this year. Did you even research this to see if it makes sense? Nope. You just threw out a few names.

A lineup of guys like Pujols? Who wouldn't take that? He puts up gaudy numbers and it has nothing to do with hustle.


Could they have done it with no talent? No, but ask ANY professional baseball person and they will tell you that Maddon's approach is inextricable from the Rays success this year. It is actually your view that seems distant and subjective. It is also universally thought in pro circles that the Reds have a talented team, however, they underachieve.

I'll be sure to ask the "pro circles." Does Dusty fall within these "pro circles?" I'd love to hear his opinion on the role walks play in the game. I'm sure he has some sage like advice on the topic.

SMcGavin
08-08-2008, 01:21 PM
Could they have done it with no talent? No, but ask ANY professional baseball person and they will tell you that Maddon's approach is inextricable from the Rays success this year. It is actually your view that seems distant and subjective. It is also universally thought in pro circles that the Reds have a talented team, however, they underachieve.

I don't know why you would think that something is true just because some "baseball people" say it is. Or why you would blindly accept something that is "universally thought" just because a lot of people think it to be true. Use data, think independently, come to your own conclusions.

IslandRed
08-08-2008, 02:09 PM
You can quantify "hustle" to some degree. Want to know the ugly truth about it? In the end, it's statistically insignificant.

It can't be quantified. Perhaps we can cherry-pick some indicators and try to extrapolate from that, but that's it.

Now, having already declared that I cannot prove this statistically :cool:, I don't think the accumulated weight of hustle in all its forms is statistically insignificant at all. I believe, if we took two teams that were clones of each other and one team hustled and the other just sort of went through the motions, we'd find after 162 games a pretty clear difference where it matters most: wins and losses. Same talent, but one team would extract more from it.

That doesn't mean that lack of hustle is the Reds' primary problem or that the solution is to find hustling players. In the real world, teams are more alike than different on the hustle spectrum, so the practical differences aren't that great. But, just as I've never seen a World Series winner that didn't have a lot of talent, I've also never seen one that looked like it didn't give a rip. We need more good players and we need them to play hard. No problem, right?

wolfboy
08-08-2008, 02:27 PM
It can't be quantified. Perhaps we can cherry-pick some indicators and try to extrapolate from that, but that's it.

Now, having already declared that I cannot prove this statistically :cool:, I don't think the accumulated weight of hustle in all its forms is statistically insignificant at all. I believe, if we took two teams that were clones of each other and one team hustled and the other just sort of went through the motions, we'd find after 162 games a pretty clear difference where it matters most: wins and losses. Same talent, but one team would extract more from it.

That doesn't mean that lack of hustle is the Reds' primary problem or that the solution is to find hustling players. In the real world, teams are more alike than different on the hustle spectrum, so the practical differences aren't that great. But, just as I've never seen a World Series winner that didn't have a lot of talent, I've also never seen one that looked like it didn't give a rip. We need more good players and we need them to play hard. No problem, right?

That's more what I meant. You can cherry pick a few things and call it hustle. Bottom line is that hustle is nothing more than a subjective measure. It's entertainment value. That's completely evident in the way you describe it. You said "I've also never seen one that looked like it didn't give a rip." It's like Potter Stewart's description of obscenity: "I know it when I see it."

As far as your scenario goes, that's not really what we're talking about here. I'm not talking about a test run of a season where hustle is the only difference between two identically matched squads. I'm talking about how hustle really affects a major league season.

The original article cited a player not running out a play to first. Instances such as those are statistically insignificant. The vast majority of the time, the player is out whether he runs hard or not. Once in a great while, the fielder might temporarily bobble or otherwise misplay the ball and the runner is out where he might have been safe. I'm sorry, but I cannot and will not believe that these situations are statistically significant over the course of a 162 game season.

IslandRed
08-08-2008, 03:05 PM
That's more what I meant. You can cherry pick a few things and call it hustle. Bottom line is that hustle is nothing more than a subjective measure. It's entertainment value. That's completely evident in the way you describe it. You said "I've also never seen one that looked like it didn't give a rip." It's like Potter Stewart's description of obscenity: "I know it when I see it."

No, I'm not talking about false hustle or entertainment value. I'm talking about players doing what they're supposed to do, to the best of their ability. Not running hard out of the box, not being ready for the ball to be hit to you, not backing up the base you should, etc. are things that don't matter... until they matter.


The original article cited a player not running out a play to first. Instances such as those are statistically insignificant. The vast majority of the time, the player is out whether he runs hard or not. Once in a great while, the fielder might temporarily bobble or otherwise misplay the ball and the runner is out where he might have been safe. I'm sorry, but I cannot and will not believe that these situations are statistically significant over the course of a 162 game season.

So, playing devil's advocate here, if you're managing and your players NEVER ran out ground balls, you'd be okay with that? Guy just takes a left turn to the dugout when he hits a bouncer with two outs in Game Seven, that's cool? After all, the chance of the play being muffed is insignificant. :p:

Sorry, just busting your chops. I agree that "hustle" isn't much of a factor in evaluating players or building a team. The vast majority of players give good effort so it's something that's more notable by its absence than its presence.

Chip R
08-08-2008, 03:22 PM
The original article cited a player not running out a play to first. Instances such as those are statistically insignificant. The vast majority of the time, the player is out whether he runs hard or not. Once in a great while, the fielder might temporarily bobble or otherwise misplay the ball and the runner is out where he might have been safe. I'm sorry, but I cannot and will not believe that these situations are statistically significant over the course of a 162 game season.


I agree and I think even someone like Maddon would agree. But it's more about the long term than the short term. Maybe beating out that ground ball wins a game for you down the road and that game could be the difference in a playoff spot. It's natural to hit that routine grounder to the pitcher or SS or 2B and believe you're going to be out for sure. Even the most fervant admirere of Pete Rose will do that in a rec league softball game and not run as fast as he can down to first on a comebacker or an easy grounder to 2nd. It's just instinct. It doesn't mean they aren't a true believer in the church of Charlie Hustle; it's just that they came to the conclusion they would be out and they relaxed. What a guy like Maddon is trying to do is counter that instinct. Maybe it wins them a game eventually.

It's also about the fans too. It's not cheap to go to a ball game even if you only buy a ticket. I think the players have an obligation to the fans to hustle because that's what the fans want. I don't believe hustle is the difference between a good ballplayer and a bad ballplayer. No matter how many grandmothers he dives into, Ryan Freel is never going to be as good of a player as Manny Ramirez. Fans are going to pay to see Manny before they pay to see Farney. That's why Manny makes $20M a year and Freel makes $3M. We like the guy who hustles and scraps because we believe he's one of us. But we admire the home run hitter who poses when he hits a home run or may not be too swift in the field because he can do something we cannot do. We may not like everything he does but we admire him.

I'm not sure if a manager's discipline can change a player's actions long term. If a manager disciplines a player for only getting a double out of a triple because he stood at the plate and admired his hit, he might run like crazy the next few times but eventually he's probably going to pose again so the cameras can capture him watching his majestic drive.

wolfboy
08-08-2008, 03:24 PM
No, I'm not talking about false hustle or entertainment value. I'm talking about players doing what they're supposed to do, to the best of their ability. Not running hard out of the box, not being ready for the ball to be hit to you, not backing up the base you should, etc. are things that don't matter... until they matter.



So, playing devil's advocate here, if you're managing and your players NEVER ran out ground balls, you'd be okay with that? Guy just takes a left turn to the dugout when he hits a bouncer with two outs in Game Seven, that's cool? After all, the chance of the play being muffed is insignificant. :p:

Sorry, just busting your chops. I agree that "hustle" isn't much of a factor in evaluating players or building a team. The vast majority of players give good effort so it's something that's more notable by its absence than its presence.

I recognize some limited value, but I keep it at that. That doesn't necessarily apply to the playoffs. It's unfair to use that example to prove your point because it's a different animal. The sample size is much smaller, so an isolated incident has a much greater effect. Of course, who isn't going to run out a ground ball at that point?

I really don't want to beat a dead horse on this one. I may be in the minority here, and I'm okay with that. I think it's a sensitive point because year after year, I see a player or team get dogged for not having hustle. Right now, I think there are four related threads in ORG. I guess when the team just plain stinks, we have to cope with it somehow.

bucksfan2
08-09-2008, 12:33 PM
I'll agree that there's a "skip in logic." I think we view it differently.

You can quantify "hustle" to some degree. Want to know the ugly truth about it? In the end, it's statistically insignificant. Griffey and Dunn were the poster children for "lack of hustle" in this town. Guess what? If you have a lineup full of guys like Griffey and Dunn, you are always better off than with a lineup full of guys like Freel and Hopper. Whether they're pleasing to your subjective understanding of the game doesn't matter a bit. You might be able to bunt single your way to hustle euphoria, but that isn't synonymous with a division crown.


The baffling part is that you actually think this has anything to do with the Rays big turnaround.

How can you measure hustle? When we talk about hustle on this board Freel and Hopper are always used as the prototype. But in reality hustle in very difficult to put a number behind which to a lot of people means it doesn't matter.

While Jeter may be one of the most over rated SS of all time the way he plays the game makes a huge difference over the course of a season. Look at the play he made in flipping the ball to home plate to tag Jeremy Giambi out. One play shows what hustle and being in the right situation will get you and on the other hand all Giambi had to do was slide and the A's may have a WS title.

As a fan I don't need to see Freel running into the walls to hustle. What I need to see is heads up baseball. I need to see every player on every play put themselves in a situation to succeed. It really isn't that hard to do. It isn't hard to run down the line. It isn't hard to go first to thrid when the opportunity presents itself. It isn't hard to hustle out of the box even if you think you have hit a HR.

As for the Rays Madden and the Rays sent a message early in the preseason with hard nosed baseball. He sent a message to the Yankees that the Rays weren't to be taken lightly this season. When a manager tells you to play hard and has your back when you do it gives you a great deal of confidence. Who would you rather have managing a team, a guy who benches a player who doesn't hustle or a guy who says "this isn't my team, its the previous GM's team"?

dougdirt
08-09-2008, 01:20 PM
Now, having already declared that I cannot prove this statistically :cool:, I don't think the accumulated weight of hustle in all its forms is statistically insignificant at all. I believe, if we took two teams that were clones of each other and one team hustled and the other just sort of went through the motions, we'd find after 162 games a pretty clear difference where it matters most: wins and losses. Same talent, but one team would extract more from it.


Of course that is if all of the 'hustle' guys were able to stay healthy for the whole season and continue to play to their ability. My bet is, they wouldn't come close to doing it because there just aren't that many guys that can play all out all year and not get hurt.

traderumor
08-09-2008, 01:52 PM
Why is it ok for pitchers to jog or slow trot easy grounders but not position players? Of course, with the DH, Maddon doesn't have to address that, but the same reason that pitchers are allowed to jog and stop short on routine grounders is valid for position players. The longer I live, the more "hustle" is evidenced by running full speed on certain plays is just a myth. Its sort of like dogging a running back for not sprinting into the end zone when no one is within twenty yards.