Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sore Philly Eye

I've been waiting all season for this week.  This is the week JD Drew was scheduled to return to Philadelphia for the last time in his unspectacular, anticlimactic major league career.  My new hobby otherwise known as @SoreGloveHand has been talking about it since that TJ Furman blog post encouraging Philly fans to "get your D cells ready."  Of course, the personality of SoreGloveHand has been one that doesn't really like to play baseball, likes to get paid, and was hellbent on finding a way to avoid these Philadelphia games.

I thought the sore hamstring that Drew was nursing about a month ago after going after a foul fly ball similar to The Day Instinct Took Over (one of my favorite posts ever) last year was going to conveniently flare up right before the Philadelphia series.  Another convenient excuse to have Drew miss these games was the bad flu that's been going around that clubhouse lately.  But JD Drew has exceeded even my wildest imaginative ideas by bunting a ball into his face during batting practice this morning.  Do I think it's intentional?  I won't say yes, but I also won't say no.  How many times has JD Drew bunted during batting practice?  Let's say he's played 120 games a year (generous) during his time in Boston, which is now 4.5 years.  I'm pretty sure everyone takes five bunts a day in batting practice.  If you factor in spring training (where he showed up at the last possible day), we're talking at least 3,000 bunts.  It's not like it's new hat to him.  And it's not like DeMarlo Hale is throwing 97 out there.  But the day he bunts it off of his face is the game before he goes to Philadelphia.

If you didn't know, JD was drafted second overall by the Phillies in the 1997 MLB draft.  He refused to sign for anything less than $10 million.  In 1997, the all-time record for the amount of money offered for a draftee was $2 million.  JD wanted five times that (Source:  Baseball America).  The Phillies didn't give it to him, so he decided to spurn the Phillies and play independent ball in St. Paul, hoping to find a loophole, avoid the '98 draft, and sign as a free agent.  The scheme didn't work and got the $10 million (at that point only four times the all-time record) he requested from the Cardinals in 1998.

He returned to Philadelphia in 1999, and during his first game, the game had to be interrupted because Philadelphia fans were throwing D-cell batteries and other debris at Drew.  The way I see it, it's not because Philadelphia sports fans are Neanderthals.  Philly fans are the way Red Sox fans were in 1999, and Drew kind of deserved it.  He wanted 500% of what anyone had ever received in the draft.  That's disgusting.

The stories about JD Drew not caring about baseball, in addition to nearly-incontrovertible evidence by watching him play between the lines (and news flash, it's not all about facial expressions!) as early as 1998 and recently as last week when he decided to Manny Ramirez it to first base on a third strike passed ball, stem from this.  They also stem from the fact that he complained about patellar tendonitis for 2.5 years, missed a month a few years ago without going onto the DL, and got called out by teammates and managers from every team he's ever played for (including Francona!). 

Look, I've been so right about this guy and Julio Lugo that it makes up for how wrong I was about Mike Lowell, Mark Teixeira, and Lars Anderson.  And it's been a while since I gloated about it.  I was going to write about something else Drew-related today, but then Drew bunted a ball at his eye, most likely taking himself out of the entire Philadelphia series.  This guy held out for a contract and went to all four years of college.  He's no dummy.  He knows how far he has to go to avoid playing baseball. 

He's a genius.

7 comments:

Wilesthing said...

That's hilarious. A couple of thoughts:

1. If he was anyone other than himself he'd rub a little dirt on it, give an interview wearing shades making fun of himself about it and hit .500 in the series.

2. If he was a hockey player he would have used his own blood in place of pine tar and proceeded to deposit the next ten pitches into the bleachers.

3. There have to be about 10 million better ways to get out of playing than eating a bunt. That's like my wife putting her fist into the food processor to get out of sex. Just say you've got your period, JD.

4. The angles involved in bunting make it pretty damn hard to even hit yourself in the face with a bunt if you're doing it even close to correctly. The fact that this happened is further proof that he half-asses everything.

5. I prefer lists that go to five.

Anonymous said...

DV

I don't understand why Phillies fans are so mad at JD Drew for not signing with their team. It was probably the best thing that happened to them in the 1990's aside from their trip to the 1993 World Series. Had they signed him they probably would have missed out on Bobby Abreu's best years and, more importantly, been subjected to all the same frustration and anger that Red Sox fans have dealt with since 2007.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Wilesthing,

#3 is fantastic. I just hope she isn't reading the blog.

Gunn,

It's more of a sign of disrespect than even the episode of TO doing situps in his driveway. At least TO was funny. But Philadelphia sort of fancies itself as a blue-collar city the same way Boston does (and probably has more justification). They care about their team and don't like their team being shunned and screwed out of a #2 overall draft pick because a guy already proclaimed as the next Mickey Mantle after zero major league games wanted $10 million.

Next Mickey Mantle, huh? That's why Drew wears 7, by the way. That sure turned out well. If that guy actually gave an F, we've all seen it. He could have done exactly that. But he doesn't, and never has given an F about anything except for collecting that paper.

Pat,

I texted you a few weeks ago about a tradeshow that I was at. There was a guy from Hahira who was one of the best speakers I've ever seen. I was blown away by the amount of energy, compete level, and giveashit factor given by this guy, especially seeing that he and JD grew up in the same town of 1,200

Wilesthing said...

Shouldn't be a problem...we don't have a computer in the kitchen.

ZWeiss said...

Hey GM, thanks for the comment. Thanks for the encouragement, I hope I can keep working this blog thing, but I haven't had too much time of late, and I feel like all my stuff is sounding stale. Whatever.

Anyway, the J.D.-eye thing does sound a bit suspicious, but I just don't see how someone can bunt a ball intentionally into their eye. I mean, that seems like it would take quite a few attempts, and I think after a while whoever is throwing BP would think that something is up.

I'm not a huge JD fan but I'm not totally against him either. I'd love to see Reddick keep playing if he keeps up what he's doing now, but JD can (key word: can) do things when he wants to.

And as far as the Theo pounding his chest about JD's OPS, I mean, he kinda has to, doesn't he? You've gotta stick up for your players, no matter how bad it makes you look. His OPS is the easy answer to a difficult question that I'm sure he faces a lot.

Anonymous said...

Zweiss, You forgot you are talking about the next mickey mantle, when he is motivated bunting a ball into his eye is easy.

Jason

the gm at work said...

ZWeiss,

I've been doing this for almost four and a half years. I know my stuff has become stale, especially my tongue-in-cheek stuff about JD bunting batting practice pitches into his face on purpose. I just don't care. While Pat and I are on our way out (we're done in four months - how crazy is that?), you are on your way in as part of the next generation of blogging.

Jason,

Well-played. You must remember that last August I compared 46 to Fletcher Reede, saying he bellyflopped his way to reinjuring his ribs on purpose just to prove a point. Hyperbole is my best policy.