By Jason Wojciechowski on June 1, 2009 at 9:36 PM
Nico at AN wants some things from the A's, mainly hustle and teaminess. These are nice things to have. The problem with what he wants is that he wants them "in ways that fans can see". That's just silly. A bunch of players clapping for their teammate from the dugout steps rather than from inside the dugout, congratulating them on the field rather than in the clubhouse, does nothing for the team. So why should they do it? It isn't a player's responsibility to visibly play hard -- it is only his responsibility to actually play hard. Anything beyond that is Pete Rose.
EDIT: In a follow-up, writing about Sunday's win over Texas, Nico writes, "Finally, let me just say that Dallas Braden plays with exactly the kind of energy and intensity I wish to see from all 25 guys, constantly motivating himself with comments to his glove and the ball between pitches ("Hit your f-ing spots!" "C'mon now, let's go!") and always ready to dive for anything near him." Again, I find this silly. I don't see Adam Kennedy doing this, and he hit two homers. I don't see Ryan Sweeney doing this -- he's the least-excited guy in the ballpark when he robs someone of a homer. Cust doesn't get emotional, and he's probably the best A's hitter. Reaching into near history, the stoic Mark Mulder was every bit as good as the emotional Tim Hudson. No, good ballplayers playing good ball is all any of us really needs.