If you stayed up long enough last night, or should I say early this morning, you would have seen that J.D. Drew won the All-Star Game MVP Award. It was certainly justified. He had the best night offensively of any player on the American League squad. To be honest even though I was only half awake for the presentation from Bud Selig it made me nauseous because it just shows how great a player he could have been and how great he could have been in a Cardinals uniform.
J.D. Drew is one of the most frustrating athletes I have ever watched. He makes everything look so easy and you can see the talent oozing out of him. The problem is and the reason he is no longer is a Cardinal is because he just does not have that killer instinct. He looks like, and performs like, he just couldn't care less about what is going on around him. When he is playing it looks like he would rather be anywhere else besides at the stadium playing baseball.
His playing ability is not questioned but his heart certainly has been. Tony La Russa and the Cardinals brass became frustrated because they couldn't light a fire underneath him. They knew he had tons of talent but there just was no way to make him the superstar he should have been. You can't coach greatness and that is what drove them nuts. If I was Tony I probably would have given up on him sooner then they did.
As someone who was not blessed with a lot of athletic ability and had to work very hard to make it anywhere athletically it drives me nuts to see good to great athletes not work hard and waste their abilities. To me in sports the greatest sin an athlete can ever commit is cheating themselves from not being as good as they could have been. When you have tons of natural born god-given talent and you waste it that is just unforgivable in my eyes. Among the athletes on that list to me who have wasted their abilities are J.D. Drew, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Lawrence Phillips, Steve Howe, Roy Tarpley. All of these athletes were given something that anyone who has ever played sports on a competitive level would have loved to have and yet they just threw it away. Some were to addiction others for lack of effort. I am sure there are more out there but those are the ones that come to top of mind.
It is a shame that J.D. Drew played in his first All-Star Game 10 years after making his MLB debut. He cheated the fans and worst of all himself. He should have been a Cardinals cornerstone for the past decade. Instead to me he is remembered as being a Tree-mendous athlete that wasted his natural abilities.
That is a shame.