The mantra of last year’s Sox team was Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit. But on Wednesday, one of Ricky’s Boys was pulled from the lineup after his first inning at-bat for not running out a ground ball. Avisail Garcia of all people was the guilty culprit. Credit Ricky for doing what a good steward and protector of the game should do, remove him from the game. Even if it is Spring Training, the example has to be set.
Avisail was 100% accepting of his lack of hustle. He owned it, manned up to it, and knew that he had to be made an example of. He is, and wants to be, a leader on this team. I for one am glad to see that he stated he expects and wants to be a leader for this squad. I mean this guy almost (and has) beats out routine infield grounders because he’s busting his tail down the line all season long.
I’m not going to change my opinion of him because of this one off situation. He busts it 99.9% of the time. But as one of the coaches of an 11u team, this is one of the first things that is discussed and demanded from day one… HUSTLE ALL THE TIME. Running the bases, out to the field, into the dugout and yes, even at practice! My son watches these guys, not persuaded by me of course, and the last thing I want him to pick up is bad habits that he sees the “guys getting paid” doing. Heck, I still have to show him highlights of MLB players using two hands to catch the ball.
When Deion Sanders (yes, he played MLB) disrespected the pinstripes of the Yankees back in the day by not running out a pop-out, he was put in his place by the opposing catcher. Yep, the Original Pudge… Carlton Fisk. He had to remind Deion that it was an honor to wear a uniform let alone the pinstripes that The Babe, The Mick, The Iron Horse and many others made popular. This coming from a born New Englander who liked the Yankees as much as me (no team in sports is lower in my rooting interest) and donned the Red Sox threads for the first 10 years of his Hall of Fame career. Pretty sad.
Now in no way am I comparing Avi to Deion or vice versa, but the last thing I want is one of Ricky’s Boys to be labeled a slacker. This team has the chance to be special and maybe start the next baseball dynasty. So from this end, all is forgiven and forgotten. Besides, in just thirteen short days, Opening Day arrives and remember… Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit!