As a child, every two or three summers, my father would set his mind to some home improvement project or another (finishing the basement, building a deck, an extension on the house, an enormous shed, an extension on the enormous shed). For a month or so, he would spend his entire weekends working on these projects. This in turn meant that I would spend my entire weekends doing the same.
Those rank among some of the worst days of my life. I had no mechanical inclination, so I was essentially useless to my father. My greatest contribution to any of the projects was handing him nails when he asked me to. Looking back, the time I saved him by fetching shit was more than offset by the time he spent trying to teach me things I would never learn. I was probably a net zero.
Yet my father insisted that I be out there "helping" him. He must have known I was of no real value, but he wouldn't let on. He would say ridiculous things, like "I never could have done this without your help". Then he would give me something like $50 for my 50 hours of labor. It was hardly the going rate for an integral part of a construction crew. And, honestly, I was still grossly overcompensated for my work.
David Eckstein's free agency reminds me of the obvious gap between my father's rhetoric about my efforts and what he was willing to spend for them. For all of the insane hyperbole about how invaluable Eckstein is, the best he could get was a 1 year $4.5 million deal. As it turns out, the market didn't value him as much as the great J.C. Romero.
P.S.- The above hyperlink sends you to every firejoemorgan.com featuring the name David Eckstein. They hate him the way the Iron Shiek hates Bee Brian Blair. I strongly recommend reading it.