Thursday, February 25, 2010

JD Patrick Drew

Before 3:00 this afternoon, I had always felt at least slightly bad about all the guff I give JD Drew on this website. It comes and goes. I mean, it's not like he's really that bad of a guy, it seems. He hasn't killed anyone like Ray Lewis, and he hasn't raped anyone like Kobe Bryant. Then I remember the fact that he holds out for more money and gives a completely half-assed job at his occupation. Guy wouldn't play baseball with "sore glove hand," but he's out there bowhunting days after he has shoulder surgery. Good to know that JD cares.

Actually, we found out how much JD cares. With two (2) seasons left to go until October 2, 2011, it seems that JD is looking forward to 10-2-11 as much as I am. That's right, the big guy is retiring. He said he'd be open to staying with Boston, but read the article and you can tell that he's going to spend more time hunting. I feel a little better about the chances that he's going to be signed to an extension past 10-2-11.

But this post is not about his retirement, it's about how JD actually believes he's "absolutely" worth the money he's being paid. Tank, Pat, and I all stumbled across the highlight of Drew's annual media tour late Thursday afternoon. Some tidbits and my response:

"In this game, you battle yourself to get in a position to explore the free agent market." Yes, JD battled himself. JD battled through his own desire to sit down after Francona used Buchholz to pinch run. He's battled through similar things his whole career.

"I think any time you sign a contract the nature that I did, there are going to be critics at every level." Especially if you have a reputation of an apathetic loafer that exaggerates injuries and doesn't play. And doubly especially if you had previously held out for three times the previous bonus offered to any amateur player. Or if you signed an already-generous contract with LA, just to opt out after your only good season there. He might be a God-fearing family man, but professionally he's done fishy things since he was twenty-two years old.

"People ask me what I want to do every year, whether I want to hit this or hit that. I never look at batting average or anything like that on a daily basis. I try to take good, quality at-bats every day." Baseball is a job where your job performance can be quantified perhaps unlike any other job. Could you imagine a sales guy not looking at his sales figures at the end of the month? A controller not looking at the outcome of his financial decisions? Well, maybe, but that's a good indication that you don't really care too much about your job except for the paycheck.

"I get criticized for not swinging." Well, yes, that tends to happen when you are a talented guy (which Drew is) but you take pitches right down the middle, often for strike three.

"If I felt like I've given four or five quality at-bats in a game, if I've gotten hits, that's what I'm supposed to do. If I haven't, unfortunately it didn't work out that day." It doesn't work out often. It works out occasionally, but the guy puts together way too many bad at-bats for someone with his skill set. And walking with a man on second and one out with Varitek and Nick Green on deck is not a good at-bat.

I will agree with Drew's comments about being pretty good the second half of last year. Last year was definitely his best with the Red Sox, despite the Manny Ramirez stuff he pulled the day Buchholz pinch ran. But we're talking about a player who misssed at least part of 56 games last year, not to mention the last two years or all the games when he played but really didn't play. We're talking about a guy who had a big hit in the ALCS, but regularly showed no preferences whether he would be the one knocking the runs in whether he could pass the bat over to Varitek or Nick Green to strand the runners on base. I'm sorry, when it comes to that kind of money, you have to take some responsibility. The fact that this happens so often, and Drew still claims he's "DEFINITELY" worth the money is nauseating.

Drew's approach to the game and his attitude toward playing it and getting paid for it is becoming more and more evident the more we see him play and the more we hear from him. The fact that he was bowhunting in New Mexico by Christmas tells you all you need to know.

He is not worth the $14 million a year. JD landed the contract, as well as the last one with LA, because of his potential. He has remained largely untapped talent, despte the fact that two years from now it will be all over. Maybe the criticism this offseason, or the vote of confidence from the general manager has lit a fire under JD Drew's ass. I mean, we've never seen him talk like this before. Maybe, just maybe, JD Drew will actually live up to the potential that had him billed as the next Mickey Mantle not too long ago.

Maybe not.

3 comments:

The GM said...

This may turn into a post all by itself, but I was already committed to erupting on Drew by 5:30 yesterday afternoon.

But right around that time, Peter Abraham got the thought that Number Two is a "somewhat similar player" to Carl Crawford. Oh. My. God. If you don't want to talk about JDPD today, you might want to talk about that. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

DV

Ellsbury is similar to Carl Crawford in that they are both outfielders, both very athletic, and they both throw and bat left-handed.
Outside of that, Crawford is obviously the superior player, and before I looked up his numbers, I would have said how outrageous this comment was. But Crawford is probably overrated. He does a lot of things well, but it's not like he's a superstar or anything. He's a corner outfielder who hits and plays like a centerfielder, which is really not the best combination in the world. His career OPS+ is 103 and he's never hit more than 18 homers or driven in more than 81 runs in any single year. For a CF or second baseman you're thrilled with those stats. But from a left fielder?

Again, this is not to say that Jacoby Ellsbury is star, but it is to say that Carl Crawford isn't as great as a lot of people would have you believe.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

If that is the case, I also used to be "somewhat similar" to Carl Crawford, because I am left-handed, used to play the outfield, and used to be able to run fast.

The stats you cite are very interesting, though. Similar to 46 also, maybe Crawford is a good player with a lot of hype?