Hustle is Overrated

It ain’t often that I agree with Jimmy Caple, but today, I do: Hustle is overrated.

Yes, for the price of tickets these days, I would like to see the players hustle all the time. But more importantly, for the price of tickets, I need to see the players perform feats that I can’t see at the local softball field.



  1. I couldn’t disagree with you more. If the players truly ‘hustle’ and work hard, just imagine the feats that would come as a result of the combination of hustle and hard work.

    You can look at it from a different perspective…

    Who impresses you more, and who would you rather work with? Someone who is fantastically smart who can just look at a problem and solve it, if he/she can get motivated to even look at the problem in the first place. Or, would you rather work with that same person who has a strong work ethic who will fully utilize their talents.

    Also, which is the better example for young teammates?

    I understand that these guys work hard. And given the choice of talented/no hustle vs. me/lots of hustle, it’s a clear choice to take the talented person due to the tremendous upside potential… if you can get them motivated to work.

  2. I’m not saying do it for show. That would be counter-productive. I just want to see them working hard, because if they’re not going to, there are plenty of others who would gladly come take their place.

    I say all of this, yet everytime I watch international soccer I’m awestruck by how little effort those guys seem to have to put in. When they get closer in, I can see that they’re definitely working, but due to them being in proper position, etc. it seems almost effortless.

    I just have issues with the idea that if you’ve got talent you should just ride that rather than pushing yourself. Thinking along those lines, I can imagine that a Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan could have been very good at their sports based solely on their talent.

    So yes, if the hustle is just for show, then it’s stupid. In the case they mentioned about running out ground balls… the whole point of that is to put pressure on the fielder to make a faster throw in hopes that they will mess up (or that he’ll take his sweet time) and the end result is a man on base rather than an out. How hard is it for a professional athlete to sprint 90 ft at most 5 or 6 times a day? (and if they’re grounding out that much they need to find another line of work)

  3. The article noted, however, that you get, at hypothetical best, a 1% gain. Given the injury risk of playing balls-to-the-wall all the time and the attendant drop-off of a star player to his replacement, well, I think it’s a reasonable tradeoff.

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