When you’re 38 years-old, you get released at the end of March and your phone barely rings between then and the middle of May, well, you’re probably not too far away from retirement. That’s the boat Casey Blake found himself in this spring, so he’s calling it a career:
Major League Baseball veteran Casey Blake said today that he officially has decided to retire, despite starting spring training with the Colorado Rockies and fielding recent interest from the Texas Rangers.
Blake told the Des Moines Register that he has been leaning toward retiring, but stopped short of a decision until now.
“My wife (Abbie) has been telling people I’m retired, but I’ve kind of been giving her a look,” said Blake, 38, who has played parts of 13 seasons in the majors with five teams before attempting to make the roster this season with Colorado.
“But I think I knew in my heart that I am (retiring), but I just haven’t announced it.”
The women always know first.
Blake didn’t have a regular gig in the majors until he was 29, but he made the most of a late start, spending eight years, more or less, as a starting third baseman with a little time in the outfield. For his career he hit .264/.336/.442, which was good for an OPS+ of 107.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.