He is terrible. And I shouldn't have to go into all the sordid details.-Nick Smith
from the film Metropolitan
My weekend was officially wrecked at around 4:30 Saturday afternoon when I went to Mets.com and saw this little news nugget plastered across the page as the great lead story.
My reaction went something like this:
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! GOOD GOD NO!"
I know that the popular opinion in some other places has been positive towards Eckstein, but let's not fool ourselves. They call him gutty, plucky, scrappy, whatever other stupid adjective, but it all boils down to he's a slap hitter with little power who hits a lot of singles, doesn't steal to many bases and that's about it. I don't need to mane any comment about his height since that has been talked to death.
I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. He's usually mediocre to OK in a normal season. That OBA has not deviated outside of a range of .325 to .363, which is just about on par with the Rey Ordoñez's of the world. Even more disturbing is his Slugging percentage, which has was not only the same as his OBA in one season, but was actually LOWER THAN HIS OBA in 2004, when the Angels cut him. How on earth do you pull that off? Once every few years he'll play over his head for a little while, but come on, now. This guy was getting MVP votes? That's an absolute joke.
Bottom line: Yeah, scrappy little Eckstein played on a couple of winning teams. But teams are not going to win because of David Eckstein. It's easy to allow yourself to be mollified by the "Scrappy" factor. He's not good. I know available 2Bs are pretty thin, but the Mets can do a hell of a lot better than this, especially when there are guys that can actually hit a little bit like Tadahito Iguchi out there (if we're over the last Japanese import 2B), but signing Eckstein would be at best Monumentally Stupid and at worst, Catastrophically Horrible.