Originally Posted by Unassisted
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.