Yunel Escobar's addition by subtraction 

July, 15, 2010

Getty ImagesYunel Escobar was young, yes, but he was also inconsistent in the effort department.
Once, when Yunel Escobar offered best wishes to an Atlanta teammate on his birthday, the teammate told Escobar he knew exactly what present he wanted from the shortstop: Just play hard today.

That Braves players came to view consistent effort from the 27-year-old infielder as a gift is not a great reflection on Escobar, especially given the reputation of the Atlanta clubhouse. It's an easy place to exist, to thrive, and has been for many years. Bobby Cox likes players; some managers don't. And the most prominent veterans on the team, like Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson and Billy Wagner and Brian McCann, are all reasonable and relatively laid-back, tolerant of different personalities so long as the effort is there.