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Picture of the Day: J.D. Drew, team player

Aug 8, 2011, 10:14 AM EDT

Josh Reddick has taken J.D. Drew‘s starting job, yet when Reddick delivered the game-winning hit for the Red Sox last night the oft-maligned Drew was front and center in the celebration congratulating the rookie for beating the Yankees:

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  1. Ari Collins - Aug 8, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Drew gets criticized a lot for being unemotional. What on a less hated player would be called “cool, calm, collected,” gets labeled “a lack of fire.” I generally pay no attention to that stuff, but it was still great to see him so obviously happy for his team and for a guy who, in point of fact, is his replacement.

    • JBerardi - Aug 8, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      JD Drew isn’t unemotional, he’s just an adult in a world where childish behavior is the norm. Of course he doesn’t break his bat when he strikes out on a call he disagreed with or whatever, because that’s ridiculous. Only an emotionally stunted man-child (ie, the large majority of athletes) would fly off the handle over an event that 1) is very minor in the grand scheme of a season and 2) they can’t do anything about anyway.

      Drew plays the game with efficiency, grace and dignity. This, in the eyes of most fans, is a criminal offense.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 8, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        When JD Drew was a Dodger, he played the game half-heartedly and then took the option layered in his contract to get the heck out of Dodge(rtown). Not that any true blue fan wanted him after his mostly 2 years of average play which was definitely subpar considering his contract.

        He could have grown up over the past five seasons, but what we saw out of JD in LA made him merely a precursor to the Andruw Jones fiasco. In other words, he provided us not one big whoop.

      • bigleagues - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        Manny Ramirez: brilliant hitter, emotionally stunted.

        Making a sweeping statement about professional baseball players being emotionally stunted is about as lame a criticism as I have heard in recent memory.

        Entitled? Cocky? Yes and yes. But ‘emotionally stunted’ is more appropriate a label for a large number of fans we see in our ballparks and hear on talk radio these days.

      • paperlions - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        Really? With the dodger he had OBPs of .412, and .393, wOBAs of .399 and .378, and WARs of 2.8 in only 72 games and 4.4 in 146 games. If that is half-hearted, more players should try it.

        Your post just reinforces the above post about unjust criticism of players like Drew….perhaps you should give more than a half-hearted effort to understand baseball before throwing around criticism.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        @ koufaxmitzvah

        A’hem: JD’s Drew’s “average” play as a Dodger

        2005: (injuries limited him to 72 games): .286/.412/.520
        2006: .283/.393/.498 with 20 HR and 100 RBI’s, 3.8 WAR.

        # of Dodgers players in 2006 (that won 88 games and finished 2nd and finished 4th in Runs) with a higher OPS+ than Drew? 0
        # of Dodgers players with a higher WAR: 1 (Derek Lowe).

        If by *average*, you mean, “very good, but not great”, then yes, he was average.

        JD Drew’s career has 2 problems: 1. A constant assortment of injuries and 2. Never living up to expectations. The expectation was that he was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. Instead, he turned out to be a very good outfielder with a career 44 WAR. Most every baseball fan would be completely happy with that guy around, but when it’s JD Drew, he’s called a slacker, lacks passion ect. All because he couldn’t live up to the potential of being as good as one of the greatest players who ever lived.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        An average Major Leaguer is still a good ball player. Dude wasn’t worth his Boras contract. He also didn’t provide much in terms of leadership for the team.

        DePo brought him in as part of the restructured Dodgers, and he took the out clause in his contract. Again, not that I or any other Dodger fan was disappointed by his decision.

        The JD Drew years in LA were underwhelming. Sort of like Paperlions response centered on WARS and OBPs.

        But I forget. “A real baseball fan” isn’t allowed to have opinions that differ from folks like Paperlions. Talk about a joke.

      • paperlions - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        Your opinion is not based on facts or performance.

        You actually have no idea if Drew provided leadership or not, do you? Who stated he wasn’t a leader in the clubhouse or that he didn’t provide advice, guidance for younger players? You are making assumptions and basing your opinion on how you feel about the player, which is generally an ineffective evaluation approach.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        paperlions has to love Drew, because LaRussa ran him out of St Louis for not living up to his original contract in any way.

        In other words, any love of Drew is directly proportional to hatred of LaRussa.

      • clydeserra - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Just to amplify paperlions point, Fangraphs takes a crude look at dollar values of players. Basically trying to figure out how much a team would have to pay on the open market to get production. It is not perfect, but it gives good indicator as to the goodness or badness or the contract the player received.

        In his two years with the Dodgers he outperformed other free agents meaning the Dodgers got a better return on their investment in JD Drew than if they would have signed Joe Average free agent.

      • bigleagues - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        I imagine, like most regulars to HBT, I play fantasy baseball.

        And I surmise its mostly fantasy baseball people who harbor such lasting resentment towards Drew for “wasting” top 10 picks or keeper slots on him over the year.

        Because, despite the injuries and prolonged slumps, I have more than enjoyed him as a Red Sox. He has carried the team offensively for a month or more at a time in each season except for 2011.

        Defensively he has been one of the best RF’ers in the game.

        Offensively, he has been on of the top RF’ers in the AL all 5 seasons he’s been with the Red Sox.

        But even if you don’t get all the facts that go into making those factually supported observations . . . he left a floundering LA franchise to dive head first into the red-hot baseball cauldron known as Boston.

        You say it was for the money. Fine.

        I say it was a demonstration of his passion for the game.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        As someone who read the Times on a daily basis, I had a pretty good idea as to what the clubhouse thought of JD Drew. Now, whether you think that’s valid or not (and I’m sure you don’t, because your M.O. is pretty obvious, PL, which is that if one doesn’t agree with your way of thinking, then one’s opinion isn’t fit for print, especially on a baseball blog for REAL baseball fans such as yourself, who follow faux statistics like Wins Above Replacement and some other sort of mularkey… but, hey don’t worry, because my opinion isn’t worth squat, so why are you wasting time responding yet again to my nonsense?) it’s still my opinion, Champ.

        I won’t bother expecting you to know anything about the 2005-2006 Dodgers that you can’t pick up off of Baseball Reference.com.

        And you know what? It’s still my freaking opinion.

        Here’s another one: You’re pretty ignorant.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        @Baseballidiot

        Drew did fine in St. Louis. Again,he wasn’t the greatest and had an array of injury problems, but he put up OPS+’s of 120, 161(!), 106 (boo!), and 132 in his time there.

        And most of us Cardinals fans don’t accuse LaRussa of running Drew out of town. Due to pending free agency, the Cardinals knew they were going to have a to pay a boatload to keep him, so instead they traded him to the Braves for Jason Marquis, Ray King and some guy named Wainwright.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        So basically, koufaxmitzvah, you’re saying that Drew was bad in L.A., despite every statistic saying he wasn’t, and you have nothing to back that up whatsoever. Aside from laying into a commenter who disagrees with you and actually supports his argument with what actually happened on the field.

        Yeah, sure, it’s your opinion. And you’re entitled to keep it. And we’re entitled to think you’re a terrible arguer who confuses opinion with fact and yells at people when that doesn’t work.

      • spindervish - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        The fact of an opinion’s being an opinion doesn’t preclude it from being idiotic.

        Man, people really hate this guy…

  2. halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Looking at that picture of Reddick, he looks like David Bowie with a beard. Did they play “We could be Heroes” after the hit?

    • bigleagues - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      So, you are saying that a 24-year-old baseball player looks like a 64-year-old rock legend?

      Reddick, btw . . . looks nothing like Bowie:

      http://blog.timesunion.com/homers/files/2010/04/Josh-Reddick.jpg

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        Look at the hair in the pic below. I did’t say the guy looked like Bowie in real life. Only in the pic with the way his hair looks.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        ***I meant to say the pic above.

  3. bigleagues - Aug 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    JD Drew:

    15-Day DL, Strained Lower Back: $1,296,296
    2nd Half of Season, Wrist Injury: $5,222,222
    Nagging Shoulder Injury: $9,765,432

    Watching him celebrate the Lord’s Will with teammates: Priceless

    • bigleagues - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      Just for the record . . . I happen to like JD Drew.

      But the facts are the facts and there is plenty of humor to be had in those facts.

    • bigleagues - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      “Lord’s Will” by the way is a phrase that came directly from a profile about Drew just after he left the Cardinals. The profile talked with coaches, teammates, etc . . . and referenced Drew celebrating the “Lord’s Will” with teammates after a win.

  4. 18thstreet - Aug 8, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    I think it’s fascinating when Drew is vilified for opting out of the last two deals of his contract. He and the Dodgers both signed it.

    It was his right, and he took it. No one forced the Dodgers to offer him that deal.

  5. Glenn - Aug 8, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Drew definitely produces, often in less obvious ways than other players making star money. My knock is that he just isn’t in the line-up enough and it seems as though he is one of those guys who has to feel perfect to play.

    Example: In a game last year in which the Red Sox had used their entire bench, JD asked Francona out of the game in the ninth because he was “tired”. Francona had to explain that there was no one to take his place. That Francona, a player’s manager who never throws anyone under the bus, told this publicly says a lot about JD Drew. He is very good but seems to lack some spark that we take for granted in professional athletes.

    He might have been showing class by celebrating with Reddick, or he may have been showing his lack of fire and competitiveness. His history supports both.

    • Ari Collins - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      I agree with what you say to a certain degree until the last part, which conuses me. How could celebrating what Reddick did possibly be construed as showing a lack of fire or competitiveness? I just don’t get that. Are people saying that?

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