Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Like A Circus"

Terry Francona, August 14, 2009: "I said, 'look at the scorecard...We already put a pitcher in to run. That's all we got to do, put somebody out in f*****g right. It would have been like a circus."

This was when JD Drew asked Francona if he could skip the last two innings after injuries and weird circumstances necessitated Clay Buchholz pinch-running. JD's groin was grabbing at him.

Well, last night we got the circus. With two hours to go before the game, JD decided he didn't want to play baseball because he had a sore neck. Not sure if this sore neck injury has anything to do with the sore neck he had on April 14th due to the fact that he fell asleep on a plane ride. But that sore neck was questionable because the plane ride was on a Thursday, he hit a ball 450 on a Friday, and he JD'ed out of the game on Sunday.

I'd say it has a lot to do with the first one, because both of them are not serious injuries.

Clearly, JD Drew does not care about winning baseball games. I've said it for most of this season, the Second Highest OPS Of All AL Outfielders has contributed to winning quite a bit this year. The team is rife with injuries, as their center fielder can't run, their left fielder is taking the year off due to an equally-questionable injury, and their backup outfielder crashed into Adrian Beltre a month ago. JD had been reasonably healthy by his standards and was the only, well, real major leaguer in the outfield. A career minor leaguer and an independent league veteran are now in the outfield, and now Eric Patterson, an IF/OF who's hitting .208, had to play in the outfield Wednesday night.

An outfield of Patterson, Darnell McDonald, and 60% of Mike Cameron is not a good way to win baseball games. Especially against Matt Garza. Hey, Garza seems to be tough right-handed pitcher. It would be nice to have a lefty who can occasionally hit the baseball hitting against Matt Garza. However, the only capable outfielder who could do so was JD Drew. And he didn't feel like playing last night. Is it due to his semi-legitimate, documented injury in his hamstring? No. It's the same condition that kept him from playing a Sunday afternoon against Kansas City after he hit a bomb on Friday. In other words, it's not a legitimate injury.

The previous sore neck, Wednesday's sore neck, last year's groin, last week's refusal to play with a tight hamstring and cold temperatures, and his several battles with conditions like vertigo and sore glove hand are further indictments of how much Drew takes his job and showing up to his job seriously. I said last year that the guy should just go away. Retire. Take your $78 million (now we're at nearly $92 million) and give the job you hate to someone else. This guy is an absolute disaster to this team. I'm going to say it again: JD should retire today. I don't care if he has an OPS of 1.000: I don't want to watch a guy who would rather walk than drive a run in, a guy who for almost no reason at all sat out a game against a tough righty so that Eric Patterson and Darnell McDonald could play instead, a guy who does all these things and got a gift $70 million contract.

I may have implied this before, but tonight I'm going to go ahead and say it. If JD were brown and/or spoke Spanish, Boston would crush him like they crushed Manny Ramirez for dogging it, faking injuries, and taking a month off when he didn't feel like playing. But no, he's just the laid-back southern white guy who's stoic and really does care. He's a nice guy, says fellow white redhead Dan Shaughnessy.

And maybe he is. I'd love to go bowhunting with JD the second week of October when the season opens in Maine. But if you're a customer of a service company and one guy can get the job done in a slightly-above-average way, but without notice he decides to blow you off and send the intern to you instead, how would you feel about the guy who can get the job done but doesn't care about getting it done as much as you do?

JD Drew is that guy.

As much as I crush Jason Varitek--and rightfully so--at least he knows how to handle an injury correctly. Guy played at least a portion of a baseball game Wednesday night with a broken foot and without anyone knowing about it. Then he did a charity mini-golf tournament without acknowledging that anything happened.

Pain shoots through Mike Cameron's body whenever he runs, leads, swings violently, gets out of bed, laughs, coughs, goes to the bathroom, or raises his voice, and he's playing baseball. Dustin Pedroia is taking ground balls off of his knees. Curt Schilling had surgery so that he could play one game.

In a key game against a division rival where Francona might need a f***ing body out in right field, JD Drew has a sore neck and lets Eric Patterson face Matt Garza instead.

8 comments:

The GM said...

Dumbasses in the media need to realize that the universal beef with this scumbag is NOT the fact that he doesn't throw his helmet. It's NOT the fact that he doesn't get excited when he plays well. It's NOT the fact that he rarely argues with the umpire.

It's stuff like this. It's stuff like how he hits about .600 in Philadelphia, on Friday nights, or when playing against his brother. It's the money.

If you are a person who loves JD Drew for his OPS and will defend him despite stuff like this week--yet you crush Manny Ramirez for being a dog, you gotta look at yourself in the mirror. David Ortiz once said, "it's 2010, not 1864."

Oh, wait, that's Jay-Z. Ortiz just plagiarized it.

Anonymous said...

DV

Agreed about Drew on the injury front. I mean, come on. Everybody who plays any sport gets banged up and hurt. Hell, you have head colds, sprained ankles, sprained fingers, strained muscles, and general fatigue. None of those are serious injuries (unless it's a really bad ankle sprain). Everybody from high school to the pros plays through them. Except, it seems, for JD Drew.

As for the 'vertigo' night against the Blue Jays, I'm exceptionally skeptical. I don't know if any of you have ever battled vertigo, but I have. It's really, really brutal. You can't stand up. You can't move. You can't even open your eyes for more than a few moments at a time. You have to lay in bed in a dark room for a couple of days until everything in your inner ear straightens out, and only then can you get back at it. It's usually a three or four day process. JD Drew had it for 12 hours? It's very unlikely.

Lastly, DV, I have to disagree with your charges of racism. Sounds like you spent a weekend with Alan, Dante, and the rest of the crew from the Colby post office. Come on. I'm not saying there's no such thing as racism in the media or other places. But JD Drew, for all his faults (and there are many, as you've outlined) isn't a clubhouse cancer. He doesn't beat up 65 year old men. He doesn't beat up teammates. He doesn't ask to be traded and hold the team hostage literally every season. Manny Ramirez did all of those things.
And despite the fact that I still think fondly of Manny's time in Boston and would never, not in a million years, boo the guy, I can at least understand why others would. He was not a good teammate. He was disruptive. And he was epically selfish and mean-spirited at times. JD Drew is just a wimp. His presence in the clubhouse is, by all accounts, benign. And I think that's the difference.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

On your first paragraph, you have to add Number Two on the "except" sentence.

And on the racism thing, first of all, good reference, and second of all, this is obviously not in a vacuum. If you take away the punching of Jack McCormick, take away the fight with Youkilis, take away the occasional surliness toward the fans and media, you got the same guy (except Manny was more talented. Maybe). Obviously you can't take all that away.

But if someone were to get on Manny solely for dogging it on the playing field and for faking injuries--but were to say that Drew is stoic and has the second-highest OPS--that's where it becomes a brown or white thing. Holding the team hostage? That's debatable. Eric Patterson played left field on Wednesday.

the gm at work said...

In other words, I have no problem for someone crushing Manny but not crushing Drew. But it's only because of the stuff I wrote about in my first paragraph in my most recent comment. If you hate but don't care about pushing senior citizens to the ground, that's where there is a problem.

Anonymous said...

DV

Now I know what's going on. I agree with that sentiment. And unfortunately, there are people out there who will cut JD Drew slack and jump on Manny for sinister reasons. That said, for all his faults (I rarely read his columns), I don't think Shaughnessy is one of those people.

--the Gunn

TimC said...

JD Drew is also, in addition to everything listed so far, the #1 case for why some people have gone too far in thinking about statistics. Over the last three years, Nancy has 64, 64, and 68 RBI and is on pace for 74 this season if he cracks 140 games. These are pitifully poor totals for a guy on a team as strong offensively as the Red Sox who also has the benefit of playing in a good hitter's ballpark 81 (ahem, 70) times a year.

You guys have said it, he likes to walk and he doesn't put himself on the line to play. The first two points directly affect RBI as putting the ball in play gets runners moving while being in the lineup increases RBI opportunities. Both cases will decrease OPS (particularly if he is truly hurt in those "extra" games I envision) but I think would lead to better run production.

This may have come up on this blog before, but what is the JD Drew equivalent in other sports? Using basketball, I think the conclusion reached was that he is the talented scorer who passes up big shots late in games. How much would people get on a basketball player who was like that?

the gm at work said...

Tim C,

Sabermetrics died to me on September 30, 2009, when Theo Epstein went on the radio and said "I thought you guys were gonna ask me about JD Drew having the second-highest OPS of all AL outfielders." When (this is a 2009 example) Mike Lowell hits a leadoff double, Drew walks, Varitek strikes out on a 50-footer in the dirt, and Nick Green grounds into an inning-ending double play, Drew's walk is predictably useless, but it helps his OPS.

Statistically, Tom Brady had the second-best season of his entire career in 2009-10. That's all you need to know.

JD played in 106 complete games in 2009.

TimC said...

DV,

Of course Brady had his second-best season of his career last year. He was surrounded by his second-best supporting cast, after all. And good players post better numbers when they play with better players or in better environments.

As for Theo's comments, I prepared for my original comment by looking up some of his past quotes. Sabermetrics is not dead to me but Theo Epstein's mystique certainly is. If it didn't die the day he signed Lugo and Drew, the plug was pulled with those comments you referenced.