sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 28, 2006

it’s official — fantasy team plays better without manager
posted by soe 11:10 am

Since I couldn’t have my real-world favorite Mets in the World Series, I was rather pleased to have a number of my fantasy team players suit up for the Fall Classic.

From the Detroit Tigers, I managed catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (one of the greatest catchers in the game today), closer Trevor Jones, and Placido Polanco (although Placido didn’t remain on my team for the whole season).

From the Cardinals, I managed outfielder Preston Wilson and shortstop David Eckstein.

It’s very rewarding to see your players go on to succeed when your own shortcomings lead them to a last-place showing.

And as David Eckstein’s former manager, I can say that he really was deserving of being named the World Series MVP and that I am so proud of his performance.

The guy isn’t normal MVP material. He lacks flair. He doesn’t hit home runs — just two for the regular season and one in the postseason. (Some pitchers hit more home runs than that!) But what he lacks in headlines, he more than makes up for with heart and work ethic. David may be one of the hardest working players in baseball. When he’s walked, he sprints up the basepath as if it’s possible that the ump could change his mind and that the catcher could throw him out after all. He throws himself at every ball that’s hit near him, as do all great shortstops, but you never doubt that he could have taken a step earlier or reached a bit further. He makes great time between bases because he’s not busy watching the plays (something that drives me batty with players!). David’s checking in with his base coaches to see what he should be doing. And, sure, he only hit .254 during the playoffs and .292 during the regular season. But he’s almost impossible to strike out; he struck out a mere 41 times in 500 plate appearances during the regular season and once in 63 times at the plate in the postseason. Somehow, any way he can, he’s going to put the bat on the ball. Which all just goes to show that heart and hard work really can make you a player for the history books.

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