The recent play featuring Mark Teixeira hustling around the bases to score the winning run in a game displays how the game should be played.
It was the bottom of the ninth inning in the Friday night Yankees-Mets game with two outs and Derek Jeter on second and Teixeira on first. Alex Rodriguez popped the ball to second. Most major league runners would probably have been loafing around second assuming the ball would be caught.
Castillo the Mets' second baseman amazingly dropped the ball and made a panic throw to second, the short stop then threw home too late as Teixeira slid across the plate with the winning run.
They then mobbed Alex Rodriguez as the conquering hero for his mighty pop fly to second. Are you kidding me? The other crazy aspect of the rules here is the Mets sterling closer, Francisco Rodriguez, is charged with his first blown save. Blown save? These are topics for another day.
All little league players are told to hit the ball and run as fast as you can, never assuming the fielder will make the play.
Most players in the game seem to have that laid back attitude or the thought to conserve energy. Why run it out at full speed when you assume the play will be made?
Teixeira obviously is one of the exceptions to this rule, and he is rightfully getting kudos for this play. But isn't that what he was supposed to be doing?
Unfortunately, in today's game lazy play is what we have become used to seeing, I'm sure this attitude has drifted down into the minors, with college players, pony and little leagues. MLB players are the role models younger players emulate.
Sadly it's the way many of the major stars of the league play everyday. Look at Manny Ramirez, until his recent fall from grace, considered by many to be one of the most gifted players around. He is a tremendous hitter, but his outfield play is sub-par and he is not a player who hustles out of the box when he hits a ball. In fact he tends to admire a long drive which annoys opposing players. There are many other players who play the same way.
It's a little sad we now applaud a player for a lost skill in today's game.