For years here, I have espoused what I like to call the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy. It comes up every time there’s a controversy over a player not hustling. Busting it out of the batter’s box on a ground ball is, I argue, not worth it 99 percent of the time. The risk of getting injured outweighs the small chance of reaching base. It is not one of my popular viewpoints.
Mets second baseman Robinson Canó is the latest lightning rod in the hustle controversy. The veteran twice failed to run hard on what became double plays. Manager Mickey Callaway benched him on Monday for the lack of effort. Upon his return yesterday against the Nationals, the crowd booed him during an 0-for-4 effort.
On Wednesday, Canó came to the plate with a runner on second base and two outs in the third inning against Max Scherzer. He grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. He ran hard, though and suffered an injury in the process. Laura Albanese of Newsday reports that he left with left quad tightness.
Work smarter, not harder.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: