Chat with David Eckstein
Eckstein made two all-star teams during his career.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, former major leaguer David Eckstein stops by to chat about the MLB playoffs.
Eckstein played 10 seasons in the majors, for five different teams, winning two World Series. He hit .333 in the World Series, including .364 in 2006 when he won the World Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Send your questions now and join Eckstein Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (10:54 AM)
Hey folks, we just heard from the MLB offices that David is running a little late, so we won't have him until closer to 11:45 a.m. ET. Keep sending in those questions!
Buzzmaster (11:50 AM)
David is here!
what's the thing about the game that you miss the most in your retirement?
David Eckstein (11:51 AM)
Definitely this time of the season. I miss the most, the postseason. Being able to have the chance to play the game when it's at its purest when you only care about winning and losing. And 1B is proving people wrong.
Where do you keep your championshiop rings?
David Eckstein (11:51 AM)
I actually keep them in a safety deposit box.
How different is the atmosphere during a playoff game than during a regular season game?
David Eckstein (11:53 AM)
It is very different in the sense that every single pitch matters. The fans are electric. It just doesn't compare to anything else. The excitement. My favorite moment was in 2002, being in Yankee Stadium, being on the field in the 7th inning when they sang God Bless America. That is something you can never recreate. You have to experience it.
I heard you're doing the NYC Kidney Walk this weekend...how did you get involved?
David Eckstein (11:54 AM)
My family has a family history of kidney problems. My brother, sisters and father have had kidney transplants. I've been approached by the National Kidney Foundation to be a spokesperson. I've helped relay what kidneys do, purify the blood. Over 27 million people have kidney disease. Over 300,000 are on dialysis now. Go out there and sign an organ donor card to hopefully go out there and help someone in need.
Mario M. NORWALK, CA [via mobile]
Do you still got the world series MVP car?
David Eckstein (11:55 AM)
Yes, I do! I actually gave it to my brother, so it's in the family, but it sits at my house, because he's off doing his job with the Nationals. I'm sure many people know this now, but I can't drive a stick, so I've never driven it.
Thoughts on the Giants comeback?
David Eckstein (11:56 AM)
I thought it was flat out amazing. That's why the playoffs are so great. You can never predict anything until the final out. It came down to the final at bat, the Reds still had a chance and that's what makes baseball so great.
Who do you got tonight between STL and WASH?
David Eckstein (11:57 AM)
I knew this was going to come up!...Everyone knows my close bond to my family and my family comes first, so that's where my allegiance is now. But going forward, it will be a lot easier for me to root for whoever comes out of this series.
What was the atmosphere like playing in St. Louis?
David Eckstein (11:58 AM)
The one thing about St. Louis is their fans. The fans there are unbelievably amazing. The sea of red that comes out and just the enthusiasm, the positive energy they put out. That's one reason I'm happy that the Nats are playing at home right now. On a personal note, I had a chance to be back for Game 6 last year. Really the first time since I was back at a stadium mainly as a fan, and it reminded me of why I loved the game so much.
What clicked for you so well in the 2006 Series? You were a one-man wrecking crew.
David Eckstein (11:59 AM)
Let's not forget that I was 0-11 to start it out! That's one thing, and I've talked to my brother, you have got to stay in the moment. You can not worry about the future. We got back home and I felt like I was taking good at bats in Detroit. Once we got home, I felt locked in. Some of the balls just found the right place too. All of my life, the one thing that I loved was big games. I loved playing with all of the pressure on. I felt comfortable in these types of games.
AT this piont, what teams do you think are playing the best and have the best shot at getting to the World Series?
David Eckstein (12:02 PM)
The thing about the playoffs, it's almost a day by day assessment. If you sat there and saw after the first two games in Cincinnati, you'd say the Reds, but now the Giants are hot. It's hard to make that prediction. Every series is like playing a year of the season. Right now, I'm a little partial here, so whoever comes out of the Washington-St. Louis series has a good shot. It's hard to count out the Yankees if they get past this round, because Detroit has had problems against New York. But the Orioles have been amazing. I have not done a really good job answering the question, because everything changes on a daily basis in the playoffs.
Hi David. I know you just spoke at the AASP (Association of Applied Sports Psychology) conference in Atlanta. Could you touch on what psychological skills you used that enhanced your performance on the field?
David Eckstein (12:03 PM)
One of the biggest things is visualization. The night before, I always liked to visualize myself facing the pitcher the next day. I also liked to visualize myself in certain situations in the game, so I could revert to my muscle memory as if I had already played.
Did you approach playoff games any different?
David Eckstein (12:04 PM)
I would have to hear my sister say that if you're going to screw up, screw up big so they remember you!....not really, I did the same thing, but there's something special about playoff games. I wish the regular season was more about who won each day as opposed to stats. In a playoff game, the only thing you worry about is wins and losses. It was a joy to get back to did you win or lose that day.
Mark (Gator Nation)
From a player's perspective in you're a Nat, your thoughts on Stras not being available for the playoff's? Go Gators!
David Eckstein (12:06 PM)
The thing about it, you have to actually commend Mike Rizzo, he had a plan in place and stuck to it. It would have been easy to not to do that. I go back to the Padres and they had a plan for Matt Latos. I did have a problem with that, because he didn't have a past history. They just said they felt his arm couldn't handle it. Stras had the Tommy John. They did the same thing with Zimmerman. The fact that they put his interests first going forward instead of thinking short term. If they win, we'll never hear anything about it, if they lose, we won't hear the end of it until something else comes along.
KC (New Jersey)
Out of all the pitchers you faced in your career who did you fear the most when coming up to bat?
David Eckstein (12:07 PM)
I never feared any pitcher. That was something I did not do. In all honesty, the toughest guy to face was Mariano Rivera. You know what's coming. He had the ability to throw a pitch that for every other pitcher in the major leagues the ball goes straight but for him, the ball cuts. You have to adjust your eyes, because even though it usually goes straight, this ball is going to cut. You have to go out and change everything you've done as a hitter.
David Eckstein (12:08 PM)
I just want to say thank you. Please continue to enjoy baseball. Root on your teams! We have a great postseason going on. Enjoy it!