Matt Diaz didn’t get a statement from Bud. Derek Jeter does. I see how it is.
“In the 21-plus years in which I have served as Commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter. Since his championship rookie season of 1996, Derek has represented all the best of the National Pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his – or any – era.
“Derek is the kind of person that generations have emulated proudly, and he remains an exemplary face of our sport. Major League Baseball looks forward to celebrating his remarkable career throughout the 2014 season.”
Matt Diaz has announced — on his own blog — that he’s retiring:
I’m moving on in my life from playing baseball. Notice, I didn’t say, I was done with baseball! How could anyone who loves the game ever “be done.” And certainly I love the game! I love the way it taught me to fail and get over it. I love the way it helped me become the man I am today. I love the way it’s provided for me and my family. There’s so much to love about this game. I just don’t love playing it anymore, and that’s how I know it’s time to not pursue a job playing this year.
Diaz hit .290/.338/.429 in 11 years with the Devil Rays, Royals, Braves, Pirates and Marlins. He was mostly a bench/platoon guy, though he happened to have his best season as a major leaguer in the year he got the most playing time. That came in 2009 when he hit .313./.390/.488 with 13 homers and 58 RBI in 425 plate appearances for the Braves.
Not a bad little career. One that, in five years time, should see him inducted into the Hall of Pretty Good Lefty Mashers.
After being given his release by the Yankees last weekend, outfielder Matt Diaz has already found a new home.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Marlins have added Diaz on a minor league contract. He’ll presumably have a chance to make the Opening Day roster, and who knows, he could end up batting cleanup before long.
Diaz went 6-for-30 (.200) with no extra-base hits during Grapefruit League action before being cut loose by the Bombers. Long known as a lefty masher, the 35-year-old batted just .222/.280/.333 with two home runs and a .613 OPS in 118 plate appearances with the Braves last season.