I await the torrent of bird-brained articles in the coming hours with baited breath, but the Dugout Central has given me this little nugget:
What is so bad now that has Manny not hustling? This lack of hustle and work ethic, regardless of his career numbers, is inexcusable. For those who think that it doesn’t matter, you are DEAD WRONG.
All of the positives that Manny brings to the field are negated by any single instance of non-hustle or possible self sabotage that he might have had for the Red Sox.
No matter how well he hits, you cannot take the chance that Manny, in an instance of “defiance”, will not run hard down the first baseline possibly costing you a game. Or the playoffs. Or the World Series.
Line breaks and color mine. That fuscia part is grade A certified, FDA approved bullshit.
Here's a theortical choice, one in which Mr. Thomas Wayne must pick player B.
Player A's absurd line: .412 average/97 homers/240 RBI with a 2.012 OPS. Doesn't RUN OUT GROUNDERS SOMETIMES.
Player B's line: .012 average in 600+ PA/0 homers/21 RBI (all sac hits) with a 0.300 OPS. Runs out every grounder and hugs his teammates.
Bring it Wayne's Groundout Runners. Me and my Hall of Fame Hitters Who Are Kinda Sorta Lazy During Inconsequential Plays will kick your ass!
Also, let me paint a situation in which not running out a grounder at first will cost a team the World Series:
It's game seven of the World Series between the Manny-energized Dodgers and upstart Tampa Bay Rays (ratings a go-go!). It's the bottom of the ninth, tied 5-5. Manny comes to the plate with runners on first and third and one out. Johnathan Broxton looks in to deliver the pitch, praying for a double play. He knows Manny won't hustle, so it's not out the realm of possibility. He goes to the set, and lets one fly. Manny eyes it and swings mightily...
It's a home run! The Dodgers win! All thanks to Manny "Everyday I'm Hustlin'" Ramirez!
See. It'll never fucking happen. Ever.