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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

No Excuse for Edwin Encarnacion Not Hustling

What I read in the post-game recap of the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night disturbed me to no end.

Narron said he removed 3B Edwin Encarnacion from the lineup after one inning because Encarnacion did not run out a pop fly.

I finally saw the video of it on Thursday and have to agree with and praise manager Jerry Narron. Narron yanked Encarnacion from the lineup and replaced him with Juan Castro without hesitation.

“Eddie told me he did not see the ball,” Narron said. “You’ve still got to run. I don’t care if we lose every game. We’re not going to play guys who don’t hustle. Simple as that. I told them from Day 1. We’ll pinch-hit pitchers. We’ll play pitchers. If you cannot hustle, you cannot play. Simple as that.”

I don’t care if we lose every game we’re going to hustle while we’re doing it.

Now that’s the type of statement I truly appreciate. If you’re Encarnacion, rather, if you’re any player, there are only so many factors in the game you can control. You cannot control calls by an umpire, interference by fans, nor fantastic plays by the defense. But one thing you can always control is how hard you play. That’s what truly disappoints me about Encarnacion, and any player who doesn’t hustle for that matter.

I don’t care what kind of talent you have. I don’t care how much money you’re making. If you don’t run out pop flys, then you don’t make it on my team. Nor do you make it on Narron’s. I have a newfound respect for Jerry Narron and congratulate him for setting standards for hustling in the Major Leagues. Try this contradiction on for size — what would former Reds 3rd baseman, Charlie Hustle have to say about Encarnacion?

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