Jim Edmonds says "I'm leaning toward shutting it down and being a family man again"

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Acquired from the Brewers for Chris Dickerson three weeks ago, Jim Edmonds played just nine games for the Reds before being sidelined by an oblique injury and the 40-year-old said yesterday that he’s now leaning toward retiring after the season:

I’m leaning toward shutting it down and being a family man again. I’ve made my mark. I’ve done as much as I can do as an everyday player.

Edmonds will try to get healthy enough to contribute to the Reds down the stretch and into October, but told Milwaukee reporters that he misses playing for the Brewers:

I had a blast there. I miss it, actually. It’s been a bit of a tough transition. It’s never easy to leave guys that you’ve spent four months with. I can’t say enough about the front office, the fans. It’s a great place to play. It’s a first-class organization all the way through. They made it comfortable for me and my family. You can’t beat it.

He also revealed that Brewers manager Ken Macha talked him out of calling it quits just prior to the trade, with Edmonds saying “it was the only thing that kept me going.”
Edmonds has played remarkably well this season considering he’s 40 years old, sat out all of last season after failing to find an interested team, and has struggled with various injuries. He’s hit .277/.337/.481 with nine homers and 23 doubles in 264 plate appearances, and his .818 OPS ranks fourth among NL center fielders with at least 250 trips to the plate.
I’m fairly certain Edmonds won’t come close to getting the votes necessary for the Hall of Fame, but he has a very good case and is perhaps one of the most underrated players of this era. He’s an eight-time Gold Glove winner with 391 career homers and a .902 lifetime OPS that ranks 10th all time among center fielders. Few people seem to recognize it, but Edmonds is likely one of the dozen best center fielders in baseball history.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.