To quote the YES network commentators, Lawrie is one of those guys who "gives it their all". And according to Kevin Kaduk with Yahoo Sports, Lawrie "came away with...the respect of those who happened to be watching". But from all the comments I've read, Dirk Hayhurst comes closest to hitting the nail on the head...:
If there is a phone call it will probably be to Gomes. Maybe Hachavarria. Lawrie is a victim of his own intense, all-out play, god bless him.
— Dirk Hayhurst (@TheGarfoose) July 18, 2012
Let's make sure that this is perfectly clear: it isn't a coincidence that Lawrie is both a guy who 'gives it his all' and that he hurt himself, nor should we bemoan how unfortunate it is that such an accident and injury would befall someone who plays so recklessly. (Much less pay him respect for doing so.) It is, in fact, entirely foreseeable, and the injury is the direct result of his overly-intense style of play. And it shouldn't be encouraged.
Because it was also entirely avoidable. What's lacking from the discourse surrounding the injury is any discussion of, frankly, Lawrie's stupidity. Jumping into a concrete camera bay - a concrete camera pit, no less, because it looks like it's recessed from field-level by about 2 feet - is an undeniably stupid thing to do. And we shouldn't lament his accident, praise his vigour, or give him our "respect" when he does things that are unnecessarily dangerous. Instead, we need to hold him accountable, because in hurting himself he also hurts his teammates.
|I'll admit that this looks cool, but, seriously, |
it's also just completely unnecessary. Photo by the AP.
It's customary, when players are accused of the opposite problem - of playing too lackadaisically, of not running-out a ground ball, not playing hard when the game isn't close - to bench them. (Sometimes, this strategy is misused - like when a player fails to run on a play that's an automatic-out 99% of the time in an 8-0 game. But, sometimes, it makes a lot of sense.) And Lawrie, as a result of his own carelessness, is very likely to miss a game or two. That's maybe something, a de facto suspension, if you will.
But I'm not sure that's good enough. Players get benched for hurting the team because they don't try hard enough - why not bench Lawrie because he hurt the team by trying too hard? (No, seriously.) For his own good, even. Because if someone isn't able to convince him that, occasionally, it's just fine to ease up, he's not going to be long for this sport. And that's bad news for anyone and everyone who's associated with or simply likes the Toronto Blue Jays