I was watching the ESPN 2006 Web Gems show last night, and I realized how proud I was of Ryan Freel's style of play. After all, I grew up admiring FranK Robinson's fire, Pete Rose's hardnose style of play, Eric Davis's fearless abandonment, and Barry Larkin's drive. That was the Redleg way, hardnosed and all out.
I have expressed this admiration before on this board and have seen Freel admonished here for wearing down because of his style. I don't get it. How can a player be criticized for playing all out? He puts his heart out on his shield and doesn't care if his statistics suffer. Ryan Freel is the face of Red tradition and I greatly admire the guy. I hope he is penciled into the Reds' everyday line-up in rightfield in 2007.