Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat
1 hour ago
"I have always found it immensely pleasurable to watch David Eckstein play baseball. There probably isn't a ballplayer alive who couldn't benefit from adapting something Eckstein does to his own game. (The last guys I remember who were like this were Ozzie Smith and Tony Fernandez). I hope Aaron Hill absorbed a lot of the lessons visible in Eckstein's play while he was able to play with him this year - noted the furious commitment (to the moment and to the cause of winning) that carries ordinary players and ordinary teams to the top of the heap.
That said, Eckstein is not a major league shortstop anymore and since he still delivers value with the bat he really should be playing second base (presumably with the D-Backs he will). It's been difficult to watch Eckstein struggle to make his body respond to the demands of a position it can no longer handle. I imagine Eckstein could still play a very fine second base... his feet are definitely not too slow, his footwork is still very fine and his arm, now a total liability at short, is plenty good enough for second.
Much like Mike Bordick before him, David Eckstein was an utter class act and the great thing about his time here is that he's undoubtedly made tens of thousands of more fans for life. Players like David Eckstein actually deserve the hero worship that people give to athletes. I say that without knowing a thing about his personal life (he could bite the heads of baby rabbits for all I care); I mean he plays baseball like a religious mystic in the throes of a frenzied ecstasy."
My old girlfriend once took a bunch of troubled kids from this craphole to see Woodsville host Tilton in high school basketball. A fight ensued, and it ended with the dramatic scene of her escorting the group out past bleachers full of people all screaming at them.
Police said some players started the fight allegedly after a player who didn't play in the game shoved an opponent while the teams shook hands. A police officer assigned to the game broke up that fight but then had to radio for backup when more fights broke out and parents spilled from the bleachers, police said. The officer then saw one parent attack another and then more parents joined the fray.
Sgt. Daniel Casale of the Enfield police department said that “The heckling started before the game was actually over.’’
Heckling? One team entered the game with a 3-12 record. The other entered the game with a 1-14 record. With those kinds of records, everybody needs to just shut up and play, or shut up and sit on your hands if you don’t know how to root properly at a high school event.
Re more Maranvillains - Pudge Rodriguez, the way he used to intimidate basestealers. That was awesome. Baseball fans just a little older than me, though, the guy they rave about is Johnny Bench. I have probably heard more raving about the incredible, eye-popping all-round play of Johnny Bench than anyone else I can think of.
Nolan Ryan, another Maranvillain by the way. While I am thinking of it.
The guy in Pudge's mold who impresses me the most now with his play behind the plate is Yadier Molina. I love watching that guy play baseball.
(Disclaimer: I made a comment along these lines Friday, but it's never appeared on your blog. Don't know what happened.) Anyway:
Bo Jackson would be a good Maranvillian. Some of the stuff he did was breathtaking. A homer I saw him hit off Oswaldo Peraza in 1988 is probably somewhere around Saturn by now.
I have another suggestion for your Maranvillains. Two, actually, both shortstops. I think you already mentioned Eckstein, or he’d be a third - I loved his fury on the diamond.
I wanted to mention Ozzie, of course, because he was truly a delight and always worth the price of admission by himself, but also Cal Ripken, especially for his defensive play and his marvellous throwing arm especially. And he played the field so intelligently, and was a very very fine hitter.
Another guy who played with Eckstein’s reckless abandon and a far greater player with greater gifts was Larry Walker, who was a dynamo in right field with all the tools but also maximum commitment at all times, and a guy who could beat you with any style at the plate - walk, single, double, triple, long bomb. Another guy in Ripken’s mold - the guy who could have taught his position at Harvard - was Dwight Evans.
Personally, I find both styles of player fun to watch as their extreme styles seem to make them more colorful, though I think that the power guys have historically caught more grief from fans and have been underrated up until the recent sabermetric revolution.Now, just making these lists doesn't make you a guy I'd go out of my way to see (witness Jason Bay), but it's a start. I'd be curious to see team scores.
I dunno, maybe Jackie Robinson at 2B, although he played first in '47. For catcher, maybe Johnny Bench.