Remember those reports in late December about Melvin Mora retiring? They were a little premature.
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, Mora is not hanging up his cleats and is in fact looking for a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says the 39-year-old would prefer to sign with an East Coast team, but he’ll likely accept whatever he can find.
Mora was released from the Diamondbacks in June of last season after batting just .228/.244/.276 with zero homers and 16 RBI in 135 plate appearances.
I made a joke on Twitter earlier about how we’d see just how desperate bloggers are for content by the number of “is Melvin Mora a Hall of Famer?” posts written today. Hey, he retired. That’s an easy one, right?
I shouldn’t be so damn cynical, because Rob Neyer wrote up a nice Melvin Mora remembrance over at SB Nation that is worth your time. Maybe Mora won’t think it’s nice because the centerpiece of it is play in 2000 when Mora made an error that cost the Mets a game, but it’s full of great stuff. Especially when he reminds us what passed for the heavy hitting portion of the Red Sox’ lineup in 2000. Mercy.
Anyway, Rob’s post is a good reminder that we should probably do whatever we can to get away from absolutes and extremes in baseball analysis. “Is so-and-so a Hall of Famer” or “The ten best whatevers of all time” posts have their place, but we probably do way too much of that. Rather than rating and ranking everything or trying so hard to find meaningful context to things that happen in baseball, we need to make sure there’s a place for simple stories. To remember the stuff that just sort of happened and didn’t mean a hell of a lot in the grand scheme. Because that’s most of what’s enjoyable about baseball anyway.
Melvin Mora’s career doesn’t fit into the pre-fab “how great was he?” mold. But it was long and varied enough and at times really good, and it serves as a useful means with which to tell a few stories like the one Rob tells today. And that stuff is pretty great.
From Rafael Rojas of Viva Colorado comes word that veteran infielder Melvin Mora announced his retirement Thursday from the game of baseball.
Mora, 39, posted a .277/.350/.431 career batting line over 6,158 career plate appearances, amassing 1,503 career hits and 171 career home runs.
The native of Venezuela spent time with the Orioles, Mets, Diamondbacks and Rockies during a 13-year MLB career. He was released by Arizona in June of 2011 after hitting just .228/.244/.276 in 42 games.
Mora was named an All-Star twice — in 2003 and 2005 — and earned a few MVP votes in 2004.
MLB.com’s Bill Ladson chimes in on the current grand plan in Washington:
Unfortunately, Ladson ran out of room before he could add Melvin Mora, Frank Catalanotto, Ricky Ledee and John Vander Wal to the list.
Shortly after trading Mark Reynolds to the Orioles for a pair of relievers the Diamondbacks have signed his potential replacement at third base Melvin Mora.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that he’ll get a one-year deal worth $2 million, which is a reasonable price and makes Mora a solid pickup if the Diamondbacks aren’t planning to play the 39-year-old every day.
Mora was reasonably productive in a part-time role with the Rockies this season, hitting .285 with a .779 OPS in 354 plate appearances, but he batted just .244 with a .721 OPS away from hitter-friendly Coors Field and doesn’t seem likely to hold up well in a bigger role.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com speculated previously that Arizona could look to trade for Kevin Kouzmanoff, but it’s unclear if signing Mora rules that option out.