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Were you aware that David Eckstein was a short, scrappy winner?

Sep 21, 2010, 2:03 PM EDT

You would think that after ten seasons of people constantly writing some variation of the “David Eckstein may be small, but he’s a scrappy winner!” story, eventually newspapers would stop running it. You would think that, but you would be wrong. From the L.A. Times:

If David Eckstein  is right, if players like him are an endangered species because computer-generated calculations can’t quantify the value of hustling and the little things he does so well, baseball will be the poorer for it.

If there’s no room for someone like the San Diego Padres’ second baseman, the ultimate little guy with a big heart and a winning influence on every team whose dirt-stained uniform he has worn, the sport will lose a piece of its soul.

I realize that, blogging like I do, I have chained myself to the 10-minute Twitter-fed news cycle and thus many things in baseball about which more casual fans don’t yet know are old hat to me. But I don’t think I’m wrong in thinking that a lede like that in a David Eckstein story slipped into realm of parody a good five years ago. Really, if The Onion were to do a totally dry “Meet David Eckstein” story — with the joke being that we all met him a decade ago — it would start exactly like that.

At this point, rather than sit for the interview, Eckstein should just hand out a pre-printed list of his “I don’t listen to the scouts and the experts, I just go out and play” quotes and save himself a lot of time.

  1. Jeremy - Sep 21, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Actually, computer-generated calculations CAN quantify the value of what David Eckstein does:
    http://www.flotsam-media.com/2007/12/flotsam-data-special-tangiblizing.html

  2. seanK - Sep 21, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    for relievers just have closers that “know how to close” like kevin gregg, brandon lyon, brian fuentes, fernando rodney
    C jeff mathis
    1b daric barton
    2b david eckstein
    SS yuniesky bettancourt
    3b nick punto
    lf scott podsednik
    cf rick ankiel
    rf jeff francouer
    util craig counsell
    sp joe saunders
    sp livan hernandez
    sp jon garland
    rp kevin gregg
    rp brandon lyon
    rp brian fuentes
    rp fernando rodney
    rp kyle farnsworth

  3. seanK - Sep 21, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    for relievers just have closers that “know how to close” like kevin gregg, brandon lyon, brian fuentes, fernando rodney
    C jeff mathis
    1b daric barton
    2b david eckstein
    SS yuniesky bettancourt
    3b nick punto
    lf scott podsednik
    cf rick ankiel
    rf jeff francouer
    util craig counsell
    sp joe saunders
    sp livan hernandez
    sp jon garland
    rp kevin gregg
    rp brandon lyon
    rp brian fuentes
    rp fernando rodney
    rp kyle farnsworth

  4. murd - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    How about Sean Casey at 1st? He was a fairly good hitter, but he has to be the biggest, slowest singles hitter to play in recent memory.

  5. Kung - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    JEFF MATHIS!!!!!!! He puts every other player to shame. Historically bad not just amongst catchers, but amongst every position out there.

  6. scatterbrian - Sep 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    The thinly-veiled dig at stat-oriented evaluation is actually off base. It’s generally the scouts who poo-poo short players like Eckstein, and would fall in love with not-so-good players because of a certain body type…

  7. The Rabbit - Sep 21, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    See Aaron’s column re: Jerry Hairston, Jr. and find a place for him on your team.

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