As we finally wind down the calendar year 2012, and turn the page toward 2013 and begin to see Spring Training on the horizon, I thought it might be appropriate to share with you some Athletics related New YeAr’s resolutions that I have for myself, and some that I think perhaps some members of the Athletics should consider as well. There’s no questioning the fact that 2012 was a pretty amazing year for the A’s, even before the season began when the A’s signed Yoenis Cespedes. Part of what made 2012 great was that it came out of nowhere, but now that it happened we are all expecting the same and even more in 2013.
My first resolution is on behalf of Josh Reddick. I know for many, Reddick is none other than “The Champ” and can do no wrong. And admittedly I’ve been pretty hard on him throughout the season , but there are some shortcomings in his game that really need to be ironed out if Reddick wants to become a truly well rounded player.
Throughout much of the season Reddick struggled badly in high leverage situations, hitting below the Mendoza line. He needs to make a commitment to improving in those situations, the success of the team is truly dependent on it. From my point of view it simply seems like Reddick fell in love with the long ball as his home run totals began to skyrocket. He had visions of perhaps hitting a 3 run homer instead of an RBI single to keep the momentum going, and the team often suffered. It reached a point where it was expected that Reddick would not come through in these types of situations, and he didn’t.
I think Reddick is a very talented player, we all were witness to the Gold Glove defense he played in right field, and early in the season when his bat was hot it was really exciting when he stepped up to the plate. But something changed, and I truly believe it was in his head and the problems compounded themselves as the season moved along.
What I want to see in 2013 for Josh Reddick is for him to get out of his own way. He clearly has the talent to continue to succeed in the Major Leagues, and he needs to just let that talent take over instead of trying to force it through. If he can do that, he can prove that his 2012 season wasn’t just a fluke and can sustain that level of production throughout his career.