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"In the end, if I had been completely healthy when the season ended and we would have made a strong run at things … things didn't unfold that way so there were a bunch of question marks in everybody's mind as well as my own going into the next season trying to negotiate with another team and seeing where I stood physically. There really wasn't a definitive answer there."
Then there was the anxiety that comes with life of a major leaguer.
Drew and Boston never were a perfect fit, but it was good enough to see his team win a World Series and 17 postseason games with the outfielder in the lineup. But it wasn't just the surroundings that led to some discomfort for Drew. Sometimes it was simply the game itself.
"I definitely didn't miss the stress and the pressure and the sleepless nights over whether I could hit a curveball or not, or who has the nasty changeup tomorrow. But as far as the competition goes, you're always a competitor, so there were things about the competition I missed," he said
"You have to understand, I come from an ignorance in baseball. We grew up in a football environment here in south Georgia. People got caught up the hoopla of what I did, but I didn't even know what I was doing. People would ask, 'How do you draw walks,' and I would be like, 'I don't know, if they throw the ball over the plate you try and hit it, and if it isn't you don't.' And the stress of dealing with and being upset with an umpiring crew, it got really bad. It's still to me where it should be. I think they want to see three-hour baseball games. I couldn't do the things I needed to do to be successful when I had to deal with that on a daily basis, and that really was one of the things that wasn't worth the stress. I don't like to have to yell at people, but I just couldn't figure that out."
A great piece by Rob Bradford; I highly recommend it.
As many speculated, Drew spent most of his time away from the game with his family and preparing for a series of Christian missions (some to take place in Cuba).
He doesn't do a lot to help his image, for those of you who can't stand Drew. He busts out a pretty serious #firstworldproblems complaint when talking about the difficulty of combining three or four houses into one. He whines about how stressful poor umpiring was. And his assessment of Boston isn't 100% positive.
But to his credit, he also doesn't appear to be one of these people who can't withdraw from the sport. He seems like a more well-rounded person than a lot of athletes -- maybe that lack of maniacal competitiveness paid off.
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