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.