Healthy Crisp keeps passion for the game

The way A’s center fielder Coco Crisp ran to first base Monday after hitting a grounder to shortstop in the ninth inning served notice in two different areas.

First, he’s completely healthy. A little less than three weeks after returning from the disabled list, there is no semblance of the hamstring injury that cost him a couple of weeks on the disabled list. No one who is hobbled runs that fast.

Second, his passion for the game remains undiminished. The A’s were up 10-2 at the time. Crisp could have made a good-faith fast trot to first base and expended less energy. Instead he ran like he was leading off the Team USA 4×100 relay team in the Olympics. He finished with a single and a 4-for-5 night.

    “It was a great night for Coco,’’ right fielder Josh Reddick said. “We’re up eight runs in the ninth and he’s running like that. Wow.’’

Crisp said it was all about the idea you always have to take the game seriously.

“You can’t be up there, even in that situation, giving at-bats away,’’ he said. “I can’t help it. I had to run that one out.’’

The center fielder said he knows there is a time to run and a time to hold back.

“You know that once you get on base, you are not going to be running,’’ he said. “Not in a 10-2 game. I’d never want to show the other team up. But running out that hit, that’s playing the game hard.’’

Crisp is trying to make up for lost time on the DL, and it seems to be working. He comes into Tuesday’s game with a .396 average in his last 13 games.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.