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Eckstein News Update ...
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 9/26/2007 4:38:00 PM
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"Manager Tony La Russa may pull Eckstein in games this weekend to protect his .300 batting average, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

"Eckstein, who is hitting .307, has never finished a season over .300. He doesn't seem to care about the mark, but La Russa is insistent on getting it for him, even to the point that he may bench Eckstein on the last day of the season to protect it. Our condolences if this move costs you a place in your final standings."

That's weak sauce. If you want to bat .300, go out and get it. Don't "protect yourself" by sitting. Ted Williams must be turning over in his ice cube tray.


As always you find a great story not in the headlines and make a logical, "normal point". I have never gotten why athletes, cop out at the end of a season for something pointless such as this, or a minor injury. It sounds really dumb, but how many people playing some recreational sport this year and play with some type of injury (back, knee, whatever) just because they know the end of the season or winter is coming and they will be back in their lazyboy or couch. And these guys are making how much a year as the famous quote goes "playing a kid's game"? P.S. No one should be counting on "choke up" Eckstein in the final week.
Posted by kevinccp at 9/26/2007 5:42:00 PM
Records and numbers don't mean a thing if they are not accomplished in the normal course of competition. Totally taints it.
Posted by bwitt at 9/26/2007 8:37:00 PM
I remember when I was growing up that Willie Wilson sat out the last game of the season in order to make sure he won the batting title, which ended up working for him because Robin Yount went 3-for-5 and got to within one percentage point of Willie. That's just one example, but stuff like this happens all of the time.
Posted by herbilk at 9/26/2007 8:52:00 PM
... especially when hitting .300 is such an empty accomplishment in the first place. Really, La Russa doesn't seem like that sort of manager, nor Eckstein that sort of player. This is all pretty surprising to me. I guess the only thing is that Eckstein is a free agent this year, and La Russa wants to send him out on an artificially high note.
Posted by Erickson at 9/26/2007 9:21:00 PM
Hey...I wrote that note! I should be quoted! Actually in the article it came from, it sounded like La Russa was haunted by a chance to hit .300 once in his minor league career and he said it's been eating at him forever. This one is 100% on La Russa. I really don't think Eckstein cares at all. Lame.

Then again, I'm sitting all my starting pitchers this week to protect my WHIP. That's not lame, right? Right?
Posted by kennruby at 9/27/2007 6:04:00 AM
The Twins did this one for Mark Salas. Sat him out the last weekend so he could hit .300 on the dot.

Who's Mark Salas?
Exactly. If you need to do this .. it's a sign you're not a good player.
Posted by schoenke at 9/27/2007 9:01:00 AM
No, Kenn, you protecting your WHIP is completely different because... uhh... well... I'll let Mr. "Weak Sauce" Thorn answer that one. ;)

I find the righteous indignation being expessed over this very amusing. The "normal course of competition", as bwitt put it, is to play when your manager writes your name on the lineup card. And managers have not put players on that card for stupider reasons than this.
Posted by ESiegrist at 9/27/2007 9:20:00 AM
The way offical scorers operate, I wonder why everyone doesn't hit .300. If a fielder doesn't kick a ball 27 times and throw it into section 561, it's a hit.
Posted by spianow at 9/27/2007 10:11:00 AM
Roberto Alomar did the same thing one season in Toronto.
Sat out the last few games with a hangnail or something.
Totally lame.
Posted by flutiefan at 9/28/2007 12:50:00 PM
By the way, La Russa is also sitting out Looper in what should have been his final start of the season tomorrow.

To protect his 12-12 record.

Yep, La Russa is worried that Looper might finish under .500, so he's not going to let the guy pitch in the finale.
Posted by kennruby at 9/29/2007 9:20:00 AM

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