From today’s Padres inbox:
Why did manager Bud Black sit Eckstein on Tuesday in Arizona? Is this going to become a trend?
— Matt M., San Diego
It’s a little early to be dissecting Black’s lineup choices, but I’ll play along. Very good reason for the move: Black wanted to give Jerry Hairston Jr. a start at a position that he will be playing a lot of in 2010. That said, look for Hairston to see time at third base, shortstop and even the outfield. Black wants his players to remain sharp, so that’s why you’ll see guys like Hairston get occasional starts. Honestly, though, Hairston is going to start a lot this season anyway. We know where, just not when.
That didn’t take long.
Your homework question for tonight:
Has there ever been a more divisive figure in Padres history than David Eckstein?
Post your answer in the comments section, and show your work.
For my part, I will say that 20+ years of Padre fandom has created a fair amount of cynicism in me that I find myself taking out on the players. My most recent target was Kevin Kouzmanoff, and I don’t think I was alone in that regard. The difference between Kouz and Eckstein, among myself and the masses, is that there are plusses to Kouz’s game worth acknowledging.
I don’t think Eckstein’s critics will concede that point.