ST. LOUIS -- For the hard-core baseball fan, this was the finest in inside humor. On last week's episode of the
In the entertainment department of
"Let me save you from capital punishment by dishing out some gritty scrappital punishment," Eckstein says in the commercial.
Eckstein, 38, played 10 years in the major leagues. He was an above-average offensive performer once, according to the OPS+ statistic. However, the 2002 Angels and 2006
Eckstein had a good laugh with the fake law firm. He said he embraces advanced statistics as an aid in rating players, but he fears some teams might tilt too far toward evaluating players in categories that lend themselves to measurement.
"At some point in time, you have to put the human element back into it. Sabermetrics lose that quality," Eckstein said here Saturday, before Game 3 of the World Series. "I'm not opposed to numbers at all. They don't really show the true value of a player."
Eckstein also saw another danger in a sport that touts a decreasing emphasis on intangibles.
"You're getting agents filling players' minds that it's all about your numbers, so you get paid," Eckstein said.
"We lose focus on wins and losses. That's the only stat that really matters."
"Which of their guys would you have on your fantasy team?" Eckstein said.
Does Eckstein believe he would have a place in today's game?
"I think there is still a place," he said, smiling. "The on-base percentage better be higher."