Second inning of tonight's Yankees game, the commentators made what I thought was an excellent point: Tejada pretty much stopped running to first when he saw Jeter field his ground ball.
The guys went on to discuss how Perlozzo has defended the players, quoting him as saying "they haven't given up, they're just frustrated". Well, I'm frustrated too. But you don't get out of losing streaks by jogging to first.
There is no excuse, repeat, NO EXCUSE for not playing these games with all-out-hustle. As I watched the replay of Tejada slowing down to a listless jog, I was a little shocked. What kind of example does that set for the kids who came up? What kind of message does it send to the Os psychologically ("Wow, Tejada just doesn't care about this game") and to the Yankees psychologically ("These guys'll be a cinch to beat...look how hangdog they are"). I mean, Tejada is supposed to be the "plays every game with intensity" guy. I'm sure he's seething inside from how the season tanked, but now he's contributing to the rudderlessness of the club.
And, lest it seem like I'm single out Tejada, I'm certain if I could watch the replays of many of our guys going to first, I'd see guys phoning it in. How bush league is that?
According the the YES announcing team (Singleton and Kay tonight, I believe), the O's have the third-worst September record in baseball over the last five seasons. That speaks of a club that doesn't play with intensity at the end of the year, and that is a biiiig problem.
I mean, if the players can't get psyched about shutting up Yankee fans who are in the stands and at least forcing the Fenway games to count, what CAN they get pumped up for?