Snepp, you can have both!
I would think that if good guys lead to better teams, you would see that in their production...otherwise, how is the team better with them there?
I posted this during a different discussion on Yunel, it 's a worthwhile read on cultural differences and being a product of your environment.
It's also from a perspective entirely outside of baseball , which is why it's void of the usual rhetoric on such matters.
Every player in MLB has a wealth of talent. The intangibles separate them. I stand by finding good character
Drew Butera > Barry Bonds
The Twins actually won something back when their leader was an absolute SCUM of a human being. We would all take 25 losers like Kirby Puckett with HOF talent over Gardy's collection of yes-men.
Bring in more Puckett's please!!!!!!!!!!!
You want Bonds snepp? In the first place I never expected we load up with players who can't play. My opinion was and is that untrustworthy players will let you down when you need them. Sabremetrics for character :)??? Probably a good place to start is a police blotter
The discussion doesn't have to be about extreme examples... I'm not advocating a team full of choir boys who spend their days helping old ladies cross busy intersections nor am I dismissing a player who shoots meth into his eyeball and spits on girls scouts. Yunel Escobar could paint kill puppies under his eyes and I wouldn't care. He could paint riverbrian sucks in flashing neon and I wouldn't care.
I care about what kind of player he is... Does he compete? From what I understand... He doesn't!!!
Yunel Escobar has talent and he has been run off two teams and the SS position is a position of need for a bunch of MLB teams. He doesn't produce enough to be worth it. Here's a blog to check out.
I don't know if this Mark Bradley is an idiot... He might be... I might be... But there are more articles like this from others... I watched Braves games and heard the announcers make comments about his lack of hustle.
You can't find as many on Drew but you had an owner calling him out this summer for not being a team player and that freaks me a little. Yes the owner could be an idiot.
In a nutshell... No more Delmon Young type players please... We all remember Delmon don't we? And spend the flipping money on pitching.
One more thing for full disclosure... I have no idea what kind of Twins we have on our current roster... The Beloved Joe Mauer could be the very player I'm describing... I don't know... I could eyeball it with Delmon and I could eyeball it with Valencia...
It is my belief that we won't know what kind of Twins team we truly have until the pitching gets closer to league average. When the pitching matches up with opposing pitchers and the games become battles... That when we will find out what we are made of,
Teams generally don't make public comments about the players because I assume it makes it hard to unload them and if they can't unload them it makes their attitudes worse.
So when you hear a team publicly slap a player... Like Drew and Escobar... It's pretty rare and speaks to a high frustration level. You can also be certain that it wasn't a first time offense.
One of the problems here is that the term "character issues" covers a wide variety of problems. It can be A J type problems where an abrasive personality is the underlining issue. Or the problems can center around achohol or drugs. Or it could be dedication issues such as being on time, doing the necessary work, etc. Or various combinations of other things. Unless the character issues appear on a police blotter, it is seldom in the club's best interests to make any of this too public.
That is the problem here, nobody here is likely to have a very good handle on exactly what the character issues surrounding Escobar or Drew, are. My guess is that the Twins, if they were interested in either one, would do their due diligence. I certainly would not like to make a guess on whether it would be a good move to try to acquire either one.
One other thought on this talent vs character debate. Some players perform much more consistently closer to their ultimate talent level than others. I don't know how much that has to do with character, but if you consistently perform at certain level, that can be much more useful than someone who sometimes produces at a very high level but at times doesn't accomplish much.
Tom Kelly uses to say that all players "gave away at bats" during the course of a season. I want to be careful in interpretting what he meant by that, but I assume it was important to him that his players did not give away at bats very often. Again, I don't know that character directly enters in here, but people who prepare well, do their work professionally, take their profession seriously, probably have a better chance of performing to their skill level on a regular basis.
JimH, yes character issues are indeed a slippery slope causing so much hair splitting.
Suffice to say I much prefer talented players with the grit needed to do well and become part of the team.
I do not prefer Twins load up on Mannys-being-Manny types who may not care to contribute that day.
Saying I do not like those players to build with I will grudgingly admit that ... with two out in the 9th, men on, win or go home that a team is a whole lot better off with Manny next up than Butera or Punto.
The right intangibles make a big difference.