It’s a sad day for scrappiness.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, veteran infielder David Eckstein has decided to retire from baseball “even though there were teams willing to bring him to camp” on a minor league contract.
Eckstein, 37, will finish up with a .280/.345/.355 career batting line. The 5-foot-6 shortstop and second baseman was named an All-Star twice and won the World Series MVP in 2006 after going 8-for-22 (.364) with three doubles, a walk and four RBI in the Cardinals’ five-game victory over the Tigers.
Eckstein played for St. Louis, Anaheim, San Diego, Arizona and Toronto during his 10-year MLB career.
UPDATE: Eckstein’s agent denied Cafardo’s report, telling Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that his client is willing to comtinue his playing career “if the right opportunity arises.”
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.