Last Sunday evening, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein and his 2006 World Series MVP Trophy were front-row guests in Orlando, Florida. The event was called "Turning Point," a pay-per-view professional wrestling event sponsored by Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling.
Eckstein’s love of the “sport” is well-known and he several of his Cardinals teammates have attended TNA shows in the past. Previous Cardinals players such as Steve Kline were also avid wrestling fans.
"I have been intrigued by, and enjoyed, pro wrestling since I was a kid," Eckstein told TNA. "Having the chance to see the events live is something that's very special to me; it's great entertainment to me.”
The diminutive shortstop continued. "I really like watching the wrestlers perform. I can just sit back, watch and enjoy."
Unfortunately, Eckstein’s evening of passive enjoyment was ruined. TNA explains what happened next.
“During the "Turning Point" Pay-Per-View event, TNA management director Jim Cornette introduced two special guests into the ring - Chicago White Sox star A.J. Pierzynski (with White Sox strength and conditioning coach Dale Torborg), as well as World Series MVP David Eckstein, along with his brother Rick. Eckstein brought along a copy of his upcoming book "Have Heart", which Torborg began to rip the pages out of! Pierzynski then had some choice comments to make about Eckstein and the Cardinals, leading to a brawl between both sides!”
Apparently, Pierzynski got into a shoving match with the younger Eckstein and Torborg slugged Rick Eckstein, who maybe not so coincidentally four days later was named the new hitting coach at Triple-A Memphis.
Despite David Eckstein having married an actress, Ashley Drane, his actions in Orlando were surely more than just acting. After all, TNA is serious stuff, right?
In fact, his indiscretion could have put his very livelihood at risk.
Exhibit A: Major League Uniform Players Contract
“5.(b) The Player and the Club recognize and agree that the Player’s participation in certain other sports may impair or destroy his ability and skill as a baseball player. Accordingly, the Player agrees that he will not engage in professional boxing or wrestling; and that, except with the written consent of the Club, he will not engage in skiing, auto racing motorcycle racing, sky diving, or in any game or exhibition of football, soccer, professional league basketball, ice hockey or other sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury.”
Couple Eckstein’s shocking and reckless behavior with news out of Detroit that Tigers pitcher Joel Zumaya's playoff injury was caused by his air guitar strumming to the Playstation video game "Guitar Hero" and we could have on the horizon a burgeoning uprising against baseball’s very authority.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Zumaya’s video game-induced right wrist and forearm inflammation sidelined him for three games of the American League Championship Series.
Based on these very types of situations and the inherent weakness in the existing standard contracts, we have learned Cardinals ownership may be considering adding special clauses in their new deals to better protect themselves from potentially damaging acts carelessly undertaken by their employees.
Here we bring you a secret, leaked draft of several such clauses.
Tony La Russa will be prohibited from appearing on the stage during charity events wearing ridiculous costumes. Smooching puppies and kitties is still allowed but this costuming has become especially serious and needs to stop. The skipper has become a habitual offender and these strange effects are starting to become noticible even at his place of employment.
The ever-present phone affixed to the right side of General Manager Walt Jocketty’s face is generally represented as a reminder of his relentless quest to better his team via trades with his unsuspecting peers. Some sportswriters may think it is done just to avoid dealing with them, but the truth is much worse.
Turns out that Walt is a Home Shopping Network addict and cannot resist purchasing anything and everything, including a two-year supply of Mark Mulder cubic zirconia that he was assured was a precious gem.
No more phone for Walt. And if he does not comply, his wrists will be bound one by one to the dugout wall. Hands-free devices are also strictly prohibited.
Referencing the Cardinals' offer on the table for his continued services, Mark Mulder would be obligated to demonstrate emotion at least once during the duration of his new contract, with built-in incentives for repeat occurrences. This would surely be a first for the veteran and could become a sticking point in negotiations. If the Cardinals refuse to budge, it could ultimately drive Mulder to sign with another club.
Chris Duncan will be required from this day forward to wear two gloves at all times - not only when batting, but also when playing the outfield. Too bad winter ball wasn’t in his plans – everyone wears two gloves in the winter.
Father Dave Duncan is hereby mandated to stop smirking when his offspring hits home runs, as it is destroying his dour image, carefully refined over the last 30 years. Otherwise, the Cardinals may be forced to trade Duncan the younger to Siberia (where two gloves are customary year-round) or perhaps Baseball Siberia, otherwise known as Kansas City.
before and after
Because he is the team’s resident superstar, the new requirement for Albert Pujols was carefully selected as one that would be easy to adhere to and has a community service bent. From here on out, Pujols will be required to work at Lambert during the off-season guiding airplanes safely to their gates.
Jim Edmonds gets one easy task and one very difficult one. All he must do is keep his uniform jersey properly bloused at all times and wait at least one month into the 2007 season before starting to complain about either his current or next contract.
Brad Thompson is required to toughen up his image by copying Scott Spiezio’s facial hair. He is hereby allowed to start now in order to have enough time to be ready for the 2008 season.
Though Jason Marquis has now moved on to the Chicago Cubs, he is still required to simply be Jason Marquis, which will continue to be just fine for his opponents.
To keep receiving deferred payments due them, these former Cardinals must make the following changes. Mike Matheny is outlawed from handling sharp objects, Julian Tavarez can no longer high-five Kenny Rogers for fear of becoming stuck, Steve Kline’s hands must remain in his pockets at all times, even while pitching, and Mark McGwire is hereby required under oath to talk about the past, just so all the rest of us can finally stop doing so.