Is it just me or have the fundamentals of baseball become a lost art? How many times have you seen a batter not hustle to 1st on a routine ground ball or a fly ball or a pop-up where he would have been safe because of a botched play but he is out because of . . . well . . . just plain laziness. So many of these "millionairs" appear to think that they don't need to run everything out, catch the ball with both hands, charge the ball - FUNDAMENTALS!!! I'm so sick of watching the likes of an Andrew Jones or a Manny Ramirez and their non-chalant approach to the game. Thank you Ryan Freel, Derek Jeter, all the young Marlins types, etc. in the league for your hard work and love-of-the-game attitude of playing the greatest game in the world each and every day as it's going to be your last. Plese feel free to chime in with your favorite "hustling" players along with your ultimate "slackers" in baseball today.
You're wrong about A. Jones. He doesn't dive often or look like he hustles because he doesn't have to and when he does it's because he couldn't get to it. To many players get late jumps or are lazy, then accelerate and jump to make their catches look more spectacular than they should have been. A. Jones is the best CF I've ever seen IRL and on film.
Don't get to watch him much, but seems like the ultimate hustle guy. If it wasn't for that hustle he probably wouldn't be in the bigs. Doesn't seem like the most talented guy, but gives it 110 everyday.
It varies team to team... Scioscia sits guys who don't hustle... He even traded Jose Guillen who was hitting because he was dogging it too much.... To some degree, it's the fact that its 162 games in 180 days. That's a grind and a half, especially in the 2nd half... but in general, the players have the power now, not the managers.
by Absolutely Adequate » Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:45 am
Having just finished "Ball Four" for the first time, I can tell you that they were saying the same thing back in 1969. I think each generation feels like things are getting worse, like the previous generations were better at hustling, etc. I don't buy it. I think we only hear about the guys who hustled - your Ty Cobb and your Pete Rose. And when we talk about Willie Mays, we don't mention that the players at the time thought he took it too easy on the basepaths.
Like this is news? No one can lay a bunt down these days. Players are swinging for the fences late in games with runners on second and third down 2 runs instead of trying to get a single, advancing a runner to third from second when there is no one out is almost unheard of, the K numbers of the sluggers have reached ridiculous levels (go back and check the K numbers of guys like Berra and Dimaggio by comparison).
Joe D in his 13 year MLB career K'ed a total of 369 times. He often walked more than he K'ed. In 1948 he hit 39 Hrs, 155 rbis, walked 67 times and K'ed all of 30 times. Adam Dunn will K 30 times in about 1 month. Berra in 19 MLB years K'ed all of 414 times (about 22 a season). Back then striking out was considered bad. Nowadays if a guy keeps the ks under 150, no one even notices.
Not putting the ball in play is fundamentally BAD baseball. Mantle, who in his era was criticized for his K rate never had more than 126 Ks in a season. Indeed he K'ed 1710 times in 18 seasons. By today's standard that is nothing and would not even be noticed. Today, you see guys like Dunn K 170+. Arod Ks 130 routinely.