Evan Longoria ripped into B.J. Upton after the Rays’ center fielder half-assed a ball to the wall. I applaud him for this.
I’ve covered enough professional sports to say—factually—that many times these guys go at less than full speed. They’re paid huge guaranteed salaries (not in the NFL, but elsewhere), so the motivation in, say, game 87 just isn’t there. You’re tired, you’re bored, you’re having trouble at home—whatever the case, you just don’t feel like playing.
It’s understandable to a certain degree. But not really. Because the tickets to pro sporting events are insanely expensive, and if someone’s forking over $20 … $30 … $100 a pop, he deserves maximum effort (and to have his head examined—but that’s neither here nor there). If nothing else, he certainly deserves to have B.J. Upton run hard after a wayward ball in a close game.
That said, I like Upton. Helluva player, and seems like a decent guy. This shouldn’t do much damage, because we all make mistakes. But good for Longoria—he did the right thing.