Postgame Spread
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Why The 2006 Cardinals Suck, Part II    


(Flickr user frnch)

Heart? Guts? More like ASS.

Just as that picture sums up my feelings on Eckstein, the hopelessly mediocre shortstop's MVP trophy sums up the 2006 post-season. Eckstein has been canonized by the media because his success has come in spite of his diminutive size. Now he's got an expensive piece of hardware on his mantlepiece... not because he was so dominant on his own, but because none of his teammates felt like earning it themselves. They should engrave "de facto" on the goddamn thing.

First, let's deal with this "overcoming adversity" nonsense.  What "adversity" has he overcome, exactly?  Oh, you mean when he was cut five years ago?  For shitting the bed in AAA?  Yeah, I'm friggin moved to tears.  How DARE they cut him on merit alone! Didn't they see how much heart he had? He hasn't overcome anything that your average journeyman overcomes on an annual basis.

You wanna know what adversity is?  Juan Dixon was unquestionably the best player on a team that won the NCAA championship, after his drug-addicted parents both died of AIDS.  Pokey Reese, who in many ways is Eckstein's injury-prone doppelganger, watched the mothers of his two children both die in separate tragediesThat is overcoming adversity.  Eckstein has overcome jack fucking shit.

But let's assume for the moment that he has indeed "overcome adversity."  He is now a multi-millionaire with two World Series rings to his credit.  He seems to have arrived.  Isn't it maybe about time we take the kid gloves off?  Instead of continuing to make him a goddamn charity case?  Why do all the people who profess to love his spunk keep holding him to such dismally low standards?  If he knocks in a run he's the fucking Gandhi of baseball.  Hilariously, by championing the little guy's survival amongst the big boys, America has given
Eckstein the equivalent of a booster seat.  Training wheels.  A phone book.  Which is exactly how the average person would react to someone they see as preternaturally inferior.

I don't see the American Dream when I see Eckstein.  I see Bucky Fucking Dent, riding the coattails of his teammates and getting lucky.  He's a mascot at best.  Big deal.

1 Comments:

  • I completely agree with everything you say about the coverage he gets, adversity, etc. It's painful, and the examples you give point out that it's not only ridiculous, it's kind of offensive.

    But Eckstein is no Willie Bloomquist. He's actually a good baseball player. For example, look at OBP by NL short stops over the past three years:

    1. 2006 Furcal .369
    2. 2005 Eckstein .363
    3. 2006 Renteria .361
    3. 2006 Vizquel .361
    5. 2006 Reyes .354
    6. 2006 Hanley .353
    7. 2005 F. Lopez .352
    8. 2006 Eckstein .350

    It's only one measure and the only one he's particularly good at, but you'll take that from your short stop. And he consistently grades out pretty well defensively. The coverage is insane, but he's not as unlikely a hero as all that.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 5:54 PM  

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