Pointed comment from Gary Huckabay of Baseball Prospectus in a recent roundtable on Ichiro:
Ichiro is Tony Gwynn with an MLB work ethic.
Gwynn is one of the most overrated players in the history of the game, and in my view, one of the most tragic and confusing. He got a ton of press for basically being someone who pounded the videos and was chronicled as a "dedicated and disciplined student of the game," which is crap.
Discipline isn't manifested through compulsive and repetitive execution of those tasks which you enjoy, like cage time and video study. It's manifested through the diligent repetition of those tasks you don't like--in the case of Mr. Gwynn, cardio workouts, weightlifting and proper nutrition--so that you're in a position to perform the entirety of your required task set at the highest possible level. The final years of Gwynn's career were a pathetic waste, plagued by excessive fragility and impaired defense, primarily because of miserable conditioning. Barry Bonds could look like Tony Gwynn instead of like a 28-year-old Rickey Henderson. He doesn't.