Neither Nick Swisher nor Grady Sizemore ever retired. They just . . . stopped being signed by teams and given a chance to play. Now, despite, the lack of an official announcement, both have signaled that they have moved on to the next phase of their careers.
The Yankees have announced that Swisher will be a spring training instructor. He joins A-Rod, Goose Gossage and a cast of the zillion usual former Yankees suspects down in Tampa. I would guess that he’ll talk to young players about how to scare the living hell out of reporters with a positive intensity that goes to 11, bro.
Sizemore, meanwhile, has been hired by the Indians as an advisor for player development. Whether this is a real front office job or if he’ll be the sort of “advisor” who is, in reality, just a spring training instructor remains to be seen.
If, as it seems, this is the end of each of their careers, they go off into the sunset with nothing to be ashamed of. Sizemore finishes with a .265/.349/.457 career batting line and 150 homers over 1,110 games. There was a brief period there, about a decade ago, when he was in the conversation as one of the best players in the game. Injuries, unfortunately, derailed that promise. He last played, with the Rays, in 2015.
Swisher, who also did not play in 2016, was the first round pick of the Oakland A’s in the now-famous 2002 draft featured in “Moneyball.” The second generation big leaguer — son of Cards, Cubs and Padres catcher Steve Swisher — finishes with 245 homers and a line of .249/.351/.447 in 12 seasons. He made the All-Star team once and was a a key part of the World Champion 2009 Yankees.
Good luck with your future endeavors, men.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 13 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.
TMZ is reporting that actor Charlie Sheen has the original cast on board for Major League III but is still looking for financial backing. TMZ cites Sheen referring to the script as “dynamite.”
The original Major League came out in 1989 and debuted at No. 1 at the box office. That spurred a sequel, Major League II, which was released five years later in 1994. Despite negative reviews, II debuted at No. 1 at the box office as well. Major League: Back to the Minors was released in 1998, but tanked at the box office and received mostly negative reviews.
Given that trend, one might wonder why anyone would attempt Major League III, and one would be correct to raise that question. But it’s been 19 years since the last installment and 27 years since the original. People in their early 30’s and 40’s with nostalgia and disposable income will likely be willing to pay to relive a blast from the past. In my humble opinion, Major League is the finest of the baseball movies, so I’ll at least be curious if Sheen ends up getting financial backing.
Sheen has had, well, an interesting life in the last two decades so it’s no sure thing that people with money will trust him to stay out of trouble.