Let’s dive into this shit again.
Andrew McCutchen is out for the season with a torn ACL and of course we need to assign blame to somebody. It’s the never-ending quest for accountability, despite the fact that sometimes freak injuries take place in sports.
Is it Jean Segura’s fault? Did he force McCutchen into a rundown for a lack of hustle down the first base line?
Is it Ian Kinsler’s fault? Is he an asshole for letting that ball drop?
Is it McCutchen’s fault for even trying to escape a no-win situation?
Is it Gabe Kapler’s fault? We can probably just blame the manager for everything.
Regardless, you hear the calls on social media and on sports radio to “bench Segura” or “teach him a lesson,” and a reader actually pointed out to me that the short stop was punished last year for something similar, which is referenced in a MLB.com article by Greg Johns:
SEATTLE — Mariners shortstop Jean Segura was taken out of the Mariners’ 12-6 win over the Rangers on Friday in the third inning, with manager Scott Servais saying the All-Star infielder was benched for not running hard on a play at the plate in Seattle’s seven-run second.
“Jean is fine,” Servais said. “We’re going to play hard through the end of the year, and I don’t think Jean gave a really good effort trying to score from second and he came out of the game.”
Was Segura’s removal a message?
“Yes,” Servais said.
Will he play on Saturday?
“We’ll see,” Servais said.
This is the play in question, which, unfortunately, doesn’t give us the best angle of Segura’s start from second base, but you can be the judge, after the jump:
It should be noted that this took place in late September with only three games remaining. Seattle was 86-73 and had already been eliminated from the playoffs, with Houston running away with the AL West and New York and Oakland claiming the wild card spots.
And Segura scored on the play, which is ironic to me. I guess Servais felt like there shouldn’t have been a play at the plate, that he felt like Segura was dogging it around third and taking a big wide angle there instead of really focusing mentally.
I wrote yesterday that I felt like the McCutchen play was just an unfortunate scenario, a sequence where Segura corkscrewed himself to one knee and had trouble getting to his feet and down the first base line. That created the rundown situation, of course, but sometimes shit happens, and that’s my take. Segura has been really good this year. McCutchen had been really good. Of course it’s crappy and unfortunate. It sucks.
But you can also go back through Segura’s MLB career and find evidence of the opposite, of hustle and drive, on plays like this:
As a general rule, I think people have to look at Bryce Harper as the exception and not the rule.
Sure, we’d love for everybody to play as hard as he does, but most MLB players do not. They try to pace themselves over the course of a 162 game season, take care of their bodies, and not force injuries by planting and sprinting on plays where they are more than likely to be out, barring some fluke dropped ball or error.
You see this in every sport.
Wide receivers take plays off in the NFL (watch DeSean Jackson “block” on the weakside). Basketball players will rest during some offensive possessions or on defense (LeBron James). Lionel Messi literally walks around the field when the ball isn’t near him. Nobody is ever going 100% all the time, and sometimes it bites you in the ass, like it did the other night with the Phils.
Anyway, do what you will with this Segura background information from last season.