M.I.A. in MLB

As Major League Baseball‘s regular season opens there are several familiar faces missing from various lineups.  It’s been an offseason of change for many players and teams with big-name free agents like Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols signing with new teams (the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels respectively) and many others deciding to hang up their cleats.

Among those retiring this offseason were two long-time Boston Red Sox players – Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek.

Photo by Jim Rogash of Getty Images

The 45-year old knuckleballer, Wakefield, really began to show his age during last year’s regular season where he posted a 7-8 record to go along with a 5.12 ERA.  However, with retirement looming, Wakefield was still able to record his 200th career win putting him in 105th on the all-time wins list.

Teammate and Red Sox catcher, Jason Varitek’s retirement came as more of a surprise.  Although there was much speculation surrounding his future, nobody was quite sure what the Red Sox captain would do.  The three-time all-star leaves the game tied for the most no-hitters caught, an MLB record (4).

Also retiring from the American League East is career Yankee Jorge Posada.  The long-time catcher, saw a drop in playing time last season sharing the duties with Francisco Cervelli.  Posada was an all-star five times in his career (’00, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’07) while collecting five Silver Slugger Awards (’00, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’07).  Winning four World Series Championships with the New York Yankees (’98, ’99, ’00, ’09), Posada is one of a select few to play his entire career with one team – also cementing his spot among the top 200 home run hitters all-time in Major League history (275 HRs – 165th all-time).

Other offseason retirements:
Mike Cameron, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Craig Counsell, Carlos Guillen

Tim Wakefield (’92-’93 – Pittsburgh Pirates; ’95-’11 – Boston Red Sox):

Stats: 200 wins (105th all-time); 180 losses (72nd all-time most losses); 4.41 ERA; 627 GP (152nd all-time); 463 GS (70th all-time) 22 SV; 3226.1 IP (94th all-time); 2156 SO (56th all-time); .254 opponent batting average; 1.35 WHIP

Awards: Best Win Total: 17 (’98,’07 – BOS); Roberto Clemente Award (’10 – Boston – AL); All-Star: 1 (’09 – Boston – AL); Red Sox Pitcher of the Year (’95, ’05 – Boston – AL); World Series Championship: 1 (’04 – Boston – AL)
Mike Cameron (’95-’98 – Chicago White Sox; ’99 – Cincinnati Reds; ’00-’03 – Seattle Mariners; ’04-’05 – New York Mets; ’06-’07 – San Diego Padres; ’08-’09 – Milwaukee Brewers; ’10-’11 – Boston Red Sox; ’11 – Florida Marlins):

Stats: 1955 GP; 1064 R; 1700 H; 383 2B; 59 3B; 278 HRs (161st all-time); 968 RBIs; 297 SB (155th all-time); .249 AVG; .338 OBP; .444 SLG

Awards: Best Power Year: 30 HRs (’04 – NYM); Best Production Year: 110 RBIs (’01 – SEA)/.273 (’05 – NYM); Rawlings Gold Glove: 3 (’01 – SEA, ’03 – SEA, ’06 – SD); All-Star: 1 (’01 – SEA)

Pat Burrell (’00-’08 – Philadelphia Phillies; ’09-’10 – Tampa Bay Rays; ’10-’11 – San Francisco Giants):

Stats: 1640 GP; 767 R; 1393 H; 299 2B; 16 3B; 292 HRs (139th all-time); 976 RBIs; 7 SB; .253 AVG; .361 OBP; .472 SLG (158th all-time)

Awards: Best Power Year: 37 HRs (’02 – PHI); Best Production Year: 117 RBIs (’05 – PHI)/.282 (’02 – PHI); Phillies’ MVP Award: 1 (’05 – PHI); World Series Championship: 2 (’08 – PHI, ’10 – SF)

Orlando Cabrera (’97-’04 – Montreal Expos; ’04 – Boston Red Sox; ’05-’07 – Los Angeles Angels; ’08 – Chicago White Sox; ’09 – Oakland Athletics; ’09 – Minnesota Twins; ’10 – Cincinnati Reds; ’11 – Cleveland Indians; ’11 – San Francisco Giants):

Stats: 1985 GP; 985 R; 2055 H; 459 2B (83rd all-time); 32 3B; 123 HRs; 854 RBIs; 216 SB; .272 AVG; .317 OBP; .390 SLG

Awards: Best Power Year: 17 HRs (’03 – MTL); Best Production Year: 96 RBIs (’01 – MTL)/27 SB (’06 – LAA)/.301 (’07 – LAA); MLB.com Defensive Player of the Year: 1 (’08 – CWS); Rawlings Gold Glove: 2 (’01 – MTL, ’07 – LAA); World Series Championship: 1 (’04 – BOS)

Craig Counsell (’95-’97 – Colorado Rockies; ’97-’99 – Florida Marlins; ’99 – Los Angeles Dodgers; ’00-’03 – Arizona Diamondbacks; ’04 – Milwaukee Brewers; ’05-’06 – Arizona Diamondbacks; ’07-’11 – Milwaukee Brewers):

Stats: 1624 GP; 647 R; 1208 H; 218 2B; 40 3B; 42 HRs; 390 RBIs; 103 SB; .255 AVG; .342 OBP; .344 SLG

Awards: Best Power Year: 9 HRs (’05 – ARI); Best Production Year: 51 RBIs (’02 – ARI)/.316 (’00 – ARI); NLCS MVP: 1 (’01 – ARI); World Series Championship: 2 (’97 – FLA, ’01 – ARI)

Jorge Posada (’95-’11 – New York Yankees):

Stats: 1829 GP; 900 R; 1664 H; 379 2B; 10 3B; 275 HRs (165th all-time); 1065 RBIs; 20 SB; .273 AVG; .374 OBP (144th all-time); .474 SLG (155th all-time)

Awards: Best Power Year: 30 HRs (’03 – NYY); Best Production Year: 101 RBIs (’03 – NYY)/.338 (’07 – NYY); Silver Slugger: 5 (’00 – NYY, ’01 – NYY, ’02 – NYY, ’03 – NYY, ’07 – NYY); All-Star: 5 (’00 – NYY, ’01 – NYY, ’02 – NYY, ’03 – NYY, ’07 – NYY); World Series Championship: 4 (’98 – NYY, ’99 – NYY, ’00 – NYY, ’09 – NYY)

Jason Varitek (’97-’11 – Boston Red Sox):

Stats: 1546 GP; 664 R; 1307 H; 306 2B; 14 3B; 193 HRs; 757 RBIs; 25 SB; .256 AVG; .341 OBP; .435 SLG

Awards: Best Power Year: 25 HRs (’03 – BOS); Best Production Year: 85 RBIs (’03 – BOS)/.296 (’04 – BOS); Red Sox Rookie of the Year: 1 (’98 – BOS); Thomas A. Yawkey Red Sox MVP: 1 (’03 – BOS); Silver Slugger: 1 (’05 – BOS); Rawlings Gold Glove: 1 (’05 – BOS); All-Star: 3 (’03 – BOS, ’05 – BOS, ’08 – BOS); World Series Championship: 2 (’04 – BOS, ’07 – BOS)

*caught a record (tie) four no-hitters

Carlos Guillen (’98-’03 – Seattle Mariners; ’04-’11 – Detroit Tigers):

Stats: 1305 GP; 733 R; 1331 H; 266 2B; 51 3B; 124 HRs; 660 RBIs; 74 SB; .285 AVG; .355 OBP; .443 SLG

Awards: Best Power Year: 21 HRs (’07 – DET); Best Production Year: 102 RBIs (’07 – DET)/.320 (’05, ’06 – DET); All-Star: 3 (’04 – DET, ’07 – DET, ’08 – DET)

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One Response to M.I.A. in MLB

  1. Biff Wild says:

    I found this to be very informative. I am not a huge baseball fan but definitely learned a lot from this post, very insightful and informative. Good to know someone can write a blog and use actual writing skills. Written very well and I look forward to more posts!

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