MLB: MAY 11 Angels v RaysEvan Longoria wants to get back to the playoffs, but not for the reasons you might think (via TBO.com):

“To be honest with you, I’ve played really the whole year thinking about Jamey Wright…I don’t know, for whatever the reason he’s been more of an inspiration for me than any past events or the sadness of not winning the World Series in 2008…He’s played 17 years and never been a part of it. I’ve been wanting to [make the playoffs] for him. To be able to celebrate with a guy like that when we make it in will be a really, really cool experience.”

That’s great that Longo wants to get Wright into the playoffs for the first time in his career. But is that really the best motivation for a player? Is it a little worrisome that the best player on the team needs to find outside motivation like this? Isn’t winning enough of a motivation?

Maybe I am reading too much into this and maybe Longo meant that Wright was just an added motivation. But the quote makes it sound as if Longoria takes winning for granted a little bit. On the one hand, that’s a good thing because it means the team has been successful. But at the same time, the team hasn’t won a World Series and you want your favorite players to still feel that hunger no matter what has happened in the past.

And what happens next year? Do the Rays have to go out and trade for Adam Dunn who has played 13 seasons in the big leagues and never been to the playoffs? Or will Longo have to wait until Dunn is a free agent in 2015? On a side-note, I can see Dunn DHing for the Rays in the future, so there is that.

 
 

9 Comments

  1. Jason says:

    I think youre reading into it a bit too much. Longoria is the leader of this team. He has to show that he has other player’s interests at heart. This is just another cliche “let’s win this for the gipper” type statement.

  2. Jenny says:

    Of course Evan wants to win! The fact that he wants to win for his team and especially Wright says a lot about his character. He’s not just Longo the hot shot 3 baseman he’s a real human being and I like that about him.

  3. Sarah says:

    You are definitely reading too much into it.

    Besides, in these situations, you never know what question he was answering. Was the question: “What is your # 1 motivation to get into the postseason?” In that case, saying the main motivation is the happiness of Jamie Wright is odd.

    But if the quesiton was: “What do you think it means to a player like Jamie Wright to make the playoffs?” then saying “I understand how much it must mean and it’s one of the reasons we’re working hard to make it” makes sense.

    Sometimes we parse the statements of athletes as though they are papal pronouncements, but these are really just young guys coming up with quick answers to questions posed by journalists.

    • Lane Meyer says:

      Good point Sarah. Not only are these young men in an informal setting (usually the locker room), but they also get interviewed almost every day and hear the same questions over and over again. Not even the president gets interviewed as often as a top athlete. I tend to forgive a careless statement made in the locker room after a game, more than a careless statement an athlete goes out of his way to post on social media.

  4. Mike says:

    Cork – Love the site and the analysis but this one is definately a reach and reading way too much into Longo’s comment. Agree with Jason above that it is “a win one for the Gipper” or Jayme in this case. Longo has plenty of incentive and desire to go to the playoffs and to win a world series. One just needs to follow all of his comments and actions to see that. .

  5. Political_Man says:

    This could also be seen a subtle reminder to teammates that there are many players who never get a chance to taste the playoffs and you may never get back here again. Make the most of it.

    Definitely reading wayyyyyyy too much into these comments.

  6. Burn H. says:

    Hell, if it works for Longo, then Great. Just stay motivated.

  7. Dre says:

    I do think it’s a stretch to conclude Jamey Wright is his sole motivation for winning. I actually think this is a sign that perhaps the last few years he was taking the winning for granted slightly, and he had a reality check from a guy that has been through the ringer.
    We have to remember that Evan (and now most of the team) are of a different mindset than we the fans are even accustomed to. he’s used to winning – it’s all he’s ever known as a Rays player. and he’s still very young. so he’s probably seeing that his team has arguably been a contender every year since he’s been on it, and he’s got a ton of time to win the WS.
    now an old-timer comes on and perhaps talks to him about the risk of having that complacent attitude, and perhaps he’s rethinking it all now.
    yes, my thought makes a ton of assumptions as well, but so does the original post. i prefer to look at this as a positive light-bulb moment for Longo.

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