C-n-C Mailbag: Andruw's Running
When Andruw is out in center field he gets to almost every ball hit, and he makes it look effortless. When he runs to first he looks like he isn't running hard at all. I've always thought that this was the case. Do you think this is true? Or is it that it just seems that way because he makes running look effortless?
I completely agree with that statement. Andruw, while he doesn't have the best speed, has incredible instincts and only has to take a couple steps before he is up to full speed when chasing down a fly ball. That is what has made him one of the two best defensive center fielders to ever play the game. On a ball he has a chance for an infield single or an extra base hit he shows that same kind of speed and hustle.
What everyone drills Andruw for is not running out the almost certain outs. Just like when Andruw knows he can make the play easily and in plenty of time in the outfield, he doesn't really run out grounders, pop-ups, or fly balls that are also basically guaranteed outs. It definitely isn't something that you'd teach to or want to see from little league kid but lets be honest, just about every player in the major leagues does it. It is just part of the game whether we like it or not. It is rare to see a player like Scott Thorman, who runs out every ball. Players like that generally aren't a lock to stay on the team and want to stay on the good side of the manager with their hustle.
I would rather every player run every ball out to get maybe those five or ten extra hits a year when the play takes a little more time then the batter expected, but I think the flak Andruw is getting for this subject this year is getting a bit ridiculous. Everyone does it, there is only one player on the Braves' roster who doesn't and that is Thorman. The only reason Andruw is being blasted for it is because of his offensive woes this year. When a player struggles, fans and the media nitpick and look for everything they can to attack that player. In this case I have even seen it as justification for running him out of town.
Greg H. Writes,