J.D. Drew, 34, likely to retire after the 2011 season

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Rob Bradford of Boston’s WEEI caught up with Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew on Saturday and the two discussed his plans for the future.  It sure sounds like the 34-year-old Drew, who has now played 13 seasons of Major League Baseball, might call it quits at the end of next season. 

His current contract with the Red Sox will be up at that point and he told Bradford that he wants to participate in faith-related missions and spend more time with his family.

“I don’t think people realize the intensity of being gone,” said Drew. “It’s really,
really difficult. Then there’s where I stand in my faith and my
commitment. Those things pull heavily when you start to get to this
point in my career. … I’ve had a great time in the game of baseball, and the relationships
I’ve come across have been great. But that being said, there’s only so
much you can do.”

Drew seems to miss a large chunk of playing time every season due to a range of injuries, but he’s one of the most productive and underrated players in all of baseball when healthy.  This year the right fielder has posted 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 435 at-bats and has batted .282/.370/.507 against right-handed hitters.  He still has great range on defense and a strong arm.

Drew is a stellar .281/.388/.499 career hitter with 234 career homers and 1,371 career hits.  He’s played for the Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Red Sox.

Jered Weaver announces his retirement

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Jered Weaver, a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star, has announced his retirement.

Weaver was struggling mightily with the Padres this year, going 0-5 in nine starts and posting a 7.44 ERA,, a 2.6 BB/9 and 4.9 K/9 ratio over 42.1 innings. He hadn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2014 and his velocity had, quite famously, sunk into the low 80s and even high 70s at times in recent seasons. A spate of physical setbacks contributed to that, with a hip inflammation ailing him this season and nerve issues in his neck and back afflicting him for the past few years.

But even if his recent seasons have been less-than-memorable, it’s worth remembering that he was, for a time, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He posted a record of 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA in his first 9 seasons, leading the American League in strikeouts in 2010 and leading the circuit in wins in 2012 and 2014. He likewise led the league in WHIP and hits allowed per nine innings in 2012.

He finishes his career with a record of 150-98, an ERA of 3.63 (ERA+ of 111) and a K/BB ratio of 1,621/551 in 2,067.1 innings. He pitched in four American League Division Series and the 2009 ALCS, posting a 2.67 ERA in seven playoff games pitched.

Happy trails, Jered. A first-ballot induction into the Hall of He Was Really Dang Good, Even if We Forgot About It For A While is in your future.

The Jose Fernandez statue may be in jeopardy

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Last November it was reported that the Marlins planned to build a memorial for Jose Fernandez, likely including a statue. The effort was said to be a pet project of the Marlins owner, Jeff Loria, who was close with Fernandez.

Today the Miami Herald reports, however, that those plans are in limbo due to the sale of the team:

The planned statue to honor Jose Fernandez, which was departing owner Jeffrey Loria’s idea, is now very much in question because it will not be erected before Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter take over, and it will ultimately be the new owners’ call. That matter has not yet been discussed, with the sale agreed to only in the past few days.

There’s nothing in the report suggesting that they’re opposed to the statue — it’s possible this was placed in the Herald by people close to the new group in order to test the waters — but there always was the sense that the idea was something of a priority for Loria personally. One wonders how much momentum it will have once he’s gone.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Fernandez was eventually found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and was behind the wheel of the boat at the time of the accident that claimed his life and the life of two others, making any memorial to him suspect in the eyes of some people.

Thankfully we don’t spend a lot of time and energy discussing the ethics of statues in this country, so I’m sure it’ll have no bearing on the matter.