Diamond Dirt: Jon Jay has 'it'
The great thing about American slang is that the term “it” in several phrases and sayings can pretty much refer to anything.
“That gal has got ‘it’ goin’ on.”
“You’re not with ‘it.’”
Just a couple of examples.
But sometimes that "it" doesn’t have much of a clear definition, however, everyone knows what it means.
That pretty much describes St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay. He’s got it, and it’s just about everything needed to contribute and standout on a professional baseball team. Jon Jay is very quickly becoming that tough-as-nails, rock solid, do-or-die ballplayer the Cardinals have been lacking since Jim Edmonds was traded for David Freese.
Since his everyday return to the Cardinals lineup, Jay has been completely spectacular.
At the plate, he is feared with his adjusted swing that allows for deep shots to the wall or over them and for laser line drives up the middle. In the field he has been nothing short of a hardcore man of stone that makes The Thing from the Fantastic Four look like a weak stick figure. There is no outfield wall he won’t crash into, no section of sod he won’t dive on and no catch attempt he won’t make just to get an out or keep a runner from scoring.
Will he be legendary in the outfield like Curt Flood, Ray Lankford or Edmonds? It’s a little premature to say that, but one thing is for certain, he’s making his way into the Cardinal history books for 2012. No one knows where St. Louis will finish or end their season, but history will show that the Cardinals are where they are now because of Jay’s efforts.
He’s clearly not afraid to play under the pain of a bruise or the pressure of a slump, he just plays ball and lets the end result be what it is.
If more ballplayers played the way Jon Jay is right now, mentally and physically, there’d be fewer players on the DL and more admiration for gumption and good old fashioned hard work.