Does David Eckstein miss playing baseball?
"Am I allowed to answer that question?" Eckstein told me this afternoon from Petco Park. "Baseball is my passion. I'm happy where I am. I am happy where I am right now."
Eckstein, 37, revealed that the Padres have talked to him about working for them. He declined to say what the job would be. He said he is not eager to become a coach. But he said he has a "great relationship" with Bud Black. He had a long chat today with Tom Garfinkel, the team's president and interim CEO.
A second baseman for the Padres from 2009-10, Eckstein hasn't played baseball since the 162nd game of the 2010 season, the 3-0 loss at San Francisco that eliminated the low-payroll Padres from playoff contention. Did the Padres offer him a chance to return in 2011? "No," Eckstein said. He elaborated: "No, no, no. No offer. Clear as day." He said he "turned down everything" offered by other clubs for 2011. From his home in Florida and a second residence in Orange County, he watched a lot of baseball, Padres games included. Asked about the team's drop from 90 victories to 91 defeats, he said: "The game's a funny game. You sit there and want to see the best for them."
At the invitation of his former Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, Eckstein spent 10 days at spring training this year as an infield coach.
Eckstein said he spends most of his time working with his wife, Ashley, in her company, Her Universe, a clothing line for girls.
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