Via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Dallas Braden, the former A’s left-hander who pitched the 19th perfect game in major-league history, told me today that he is retiring after failing to come back from multiple shoulder surgeries.
“There is nothing left in there, it’s just a shredded mess,” Braden told Slusser by phone on Tuesday. “I left my arm on the mound at the Coliseum, and I’m OK with that. … [That perfect game] will always define the one solid day of work I had and the fact that I got to share it with my grandmother, only a few people appreciate the magnitude of that. That was living the dream. … You have to face your mortality one day.”
Braden mowed down 27 straight Rays batters on May 9, 2010, recording six strikeouts, seven groundball outs, 14 flyball outs and using 109 pitches. That moment produced these memorable images (via Getty):
Braden pitched only 18 major league innings after that 2010 campaign and will call it quits at age 30 having made just 94 total appearances in the bigs. He finishes with a 4.16 career ERA and 1.325 career WHIP.
Mike Trout may not win another MVP award, because Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays had a great season and voters seem to be leaning his way, but the Angels center fielder just completed his fourth MVP-caliber campaign in four full seasons as a major leaguer.
Trout has now either won the MVP or (presumably) finished runner-up at age 20, age 21, age 22, and age 23. And there were certainly cases to be made that he was deserving of all four MVP awards. It’s been an incredible start to a career. But how incredible?
Here are the all-time leaders in Wins Above Replacement through age 23:
37.6 – Mike Trout
36.0 – Ty Cobb
34.2 – Ted Williams
31.4 – Mel Ott
30.1 – Ken Griffey Jr.
29.7 – Mickey Mantle
27.7 – Alex Rodriguez
27.5 – Al Kaline
26.7 – Arky Vaughan
26.5 – Rogers Hornsby
I mean, just look at the 10 names on that list. Ridiculous, and Trout sits atop all of them.
Trout has been the subject of intense MVP-related debates in three of his four seasons, but regardless of which side of that coin you favor don’t let it obscure the fact that we’re witnessing something truly special here. There’s certainly room to quibble with the exact rankings–WAR is merely one prominent and easy way to do such things–but however you slice it Trout has been one of the best handful of players in the history of baseball through age 23.
Last week impending free agent Chris Davis expressed frustration that the Orioles had not approached him about a contract extension during the season, pointing out that the team had previously locked up other players like J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones mid-season.
Now that the season is over and Davis had another monster year Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that re-signing Davis is “a top priority” and added:
He’s had a great year and he’s been a great player for us, so obviously, we’d like to have him back. Whether we can do that in the market, that remains to be seen, but we’re going to try.
Davis is 29 years old, has some defensive versatility, and has led the league in homers in two of the past three seasons while posting an .891 OPS during that time. He’s going to get plenty of huge multi-year offers and based on some of Duquette’s other quotes within Encina’s article it sure sounds like the Orioles are preparing for life without him.