J.D. Drew and the curse of potential

J.D. Drew may be the toast of the town in New England after his grand slam yesterday against the Indians, but New York Times and Deadspin blogger Will Leitch writes about how Drew is one of the most disliked players he has ever watched. Leitch notes that “the real reason Drew rankles us so much is that he doesn’t seem to be having much fun. He’s not loafing, exactly, but he roams the diamond with the countenance of a man finishing out the end of a prison term. For all his obvious skills, he is thought to have no passion for the game.”

Drew’s case here seems to raise two questions: one about wasted potential and another about making one’s life’s work something for which one has no passion. But does Drew really have no passion or does he just appear that way? And is that such a bad thing? And what really is the difference? Is Drew simply not a hard worker? I think the sentiment about Drew results from a combination of his not having lived up to his projected potential from the time he was drafted and his apparently blasé demeanor on the field. If the guy had driven in 100 runs this year, would the fans really be all over him? I doubt it, but then again, when you play in front of thousands and thousands of people, performance matters in both senses of the word.

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