Veteran catcher Brad Ausmus told Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles on Saturday that he intends to retire at the end of the 2010 season.
“This year is it,” Ausmus said.
The 41-year-old inked a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Dodgers in the offseason and was also given a $1 million mutual option for 2011. That option, of course, will not be exercised.
Ausmus suffered a back injury during the regular season’s opening week and played his first game since April 8 on Saturday night. He’s 2-for-8 on the year with a double and an RBI. Known mostly for his defense, the 17-year veteran collected three Gold Gloves and was named to the 1999 All-Star Game. He holds a .252/.325/.344 career batting line with 80 home runs and 1,567 total hits.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.