Eckstein earns peers' respect in recent poll

Eckstein earns peers' respect in recent poll

CHICAGO -- A recent poll of 313 Major League players conducted by Sports Illustrated determined that Padres second baseman David Eckstein is the player who gets the most out of his talent.

Eckstein, currently on the disabled list with a right calf strain, earned 25 percent of the votes.

Boston's Dustin Pedroia was second (13 percent). Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (eight), Derek Jeter of the Yankees and Minnesota's Joe Mauer each earned four percent of the vote.

"I would have voted for him, too," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Eckstein, who has found his name atop similar polls and surveys during his career, said "it's nice to be recognized as a player who goes out and plays hard every night."

Eckstein, who stands 5-foot-7, then flashed a smile.

"I do not intimidate anyone," he said.

But he has gained the respect of his peers and his manager.

"You wouldn't get 10 years in the Majors by being scrappy," Black said. "You've got to be a good player."