Careful What You Wish For: Why Hanley’s Injury is All Your Fault, You Selfish PigBy
See that image up there, people? That’s your fault. I blame this all on you, on Jeff Conine and on a long-standing belief in the fallacy of giving 110%. You’re all at fault here. All of you.
A few weeks ago, Hanley would have turned around and jogged after that pop-up, letting it drop in for an uncontested single. There was no way he was getting to it anyway, so he’d have just let Logan Morrison pick it up, shrugged and walked back to his position, ready to half-heartedly chase after the next ball that might seem just a bit out of his reach. You’d probably have pursed your lips and shook your head, but Hanley would have doubled down the line in his next at-bat and your silent judgement would have been a distant memory for everyone involved.
That’s not what happened, though. No, what happened was that Jeff Conine eluded to Hanley being lazy. And sports talk radio got its monthly gasbag topic. (Seriously, if 790 The Ticket plays that Jorge Sedano, “Hanley’s gotta go!” rant one more time, I might stab my eardrums with a pair of rusty scissors. Stick to basketball, chief.) And frustrated fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure. And so, last night, amidst this current avalanche of unnecessary scrutiny, Hanley found himself staring up at a pop-up and making the ill-fated decision to do something he wouldn’t have ever thought to do a month ago. He sprinted into left field.
Hustling is overrated; just ask Ken Griffey, Jr. For all of the highlight reel catches he made throughout his career, all anyone ever seems to want to talk about is the number of home runs he’d have… if he weren’t always on the DL. That’s the kind of thanks you get for going all out. Nobody would’ve faulted Jim Edmonds for not diving head first in the direction of a solid wall. Nobody would’ve blamed Carlos Beltran or Mike Cameron if either of them had thought to themselves, “You know, I don’t really want to bash my skull into my teammate’s skull to try and catch this ball.” They did it for you, though, because you demand that your athletes always try their hardest, that they always give 110%, even as you whine and roll your eyes when asked to walk two cubicles over to pass a coworker the stapler, you lazy, hypocritical sloth.
Fortunately, the news is that Hanley’s injury isn’t serious and that he’s day-to-day. You guys got lucky. But, let this serve as a constant reminder that some of the clichéd sports nonsense your 8th grade gym teacher tried drilling into your head all those years ago is better left in your middle school locker room, because it doesn’t necessarily have a place in the real world. 110% might have gotten you a Presidential Physical Fitness Award, but I’m guessing that your 13 chin-ups weren’t televised and that you weren’t risking millions of dollars and the future of an entire franchise in the process.
So, when Hanley does get back on the field, I’d like to be the first to urge him to not try hard, to not dive after pop-ups and not leg out routine ground balls to third. Walk. Mope. Give 43%. Show up late. I don’t care. Just, for the love of God, don’t ever listen to these silly people again.
(Screenshot via MLB.com)