Stop Bad Decisions Not Intensity


Apr 14, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (13) is caught stealing at home plate during the second inning as Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) applies the tag at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY SportsIf you think Brett Lawrie’s popularity among the Toronto Blue Jays fan base is all just because he’s Canadian you’re wrong eh. It’s a big part of Lawrie’s popularity but it’s definitely not the only reason.

Brett Lawrie shows more passion, energy and intensity in one game than most players show in their entire careers. And you definately don’t have to be Canadian or a Jays fan to feel it.

Every time Lawrie swings a bat he does it hard. He runs out every ground ball even if it’s obvious he’s going to be out by miles. He runs the bases hard whether he’s going to first base on a walk, advancing on a ground ball or fly out, stealing a base, hitting a single or getting an extra base hit of any kind. He’s not afraid of showing his frustration if he gets out when he thinks he should have been have been able to get on base. He always goes all out playing defense at 3rd base. Even his handshakes with team mates have a lot of intensity.

If you don’t think watching Lawrie and Reyes play together offensively and defensively will be fun you might not have a pulse.

It’s suggested by the media and some fans that Lawrie should “tone it down” a little. Some Blue Jays fans and Lawrie himself say that’s just his style of play and it’s just who he is.

Lawrie and those fans are missing the point though. When people say Lawrie should tone it down a little they don’t mean he should stop running as hard as he can when he’s on the bases or that he should stop giving team mates hard handshakes.

It means he should be able to recognize when to be aggressive and when not to be. Being energetic doesn’t mean he can just make unnecessary bad decisions.

In Brett Lawrie’s short career he’s tried and failed to steal home with the bases loaded, 2 outs and Jose Bautista at the plate. He’s tried and failed to steal 3rd base with 2 outs. He’s got suspended for throwing a helmet at an umpire’s direction and it accidently hitting the umpire. He’s got injured jumping over a fence to catch a ball.

Intense? Sure. Bad decisions? Definately.

No player should ever try stealing 3rd and home with 2 outs even if Mark Derosa is at the plate let alone Jose Bautista. It goes without saying he shouldn’t be throwing anything in an umpire’s direction.

Yes he should try to catch every ball but not if there’s a chance he could get injured. If more runs end up being scored because Lawrie didn’t try to make a heroic catch it’s more likely to be the pitcher’s fault than his. Even if that catch not being made costs the Jays the game they’re better off with a fully healthy Lawrie in the long run.

Lawrie should keep playing with the same passion and energy. No Jays fan should want any less. He just has to make sure it doesn’t lead to mistakes that hurt the team.