Garret Anderson retires after 17 seasons and 2,529 hits

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Unable to find a job this spring after hitting just .181 in 80 games for the Dodgers last season, Garret Anderson has decided to call it a career after 17 years in the majors.

Fifteen of those years were spent with the Angels and Anderson is the franchise’s all-time leader in games (2,013), plate appearances (8,480), runs (1,024), RBIs (1,292), hits (2,368), and total bases (3,743).

At his peak he was a .300 hitter with 25-homer power whose spot in the middle of the lineup and low walk rate helped him pile up big RBI totals, knocking in more than 115 runs each year from 2000-2003.

His overall production wasn’t quite as impressive as the batting average and RBIs suggested, as Anderson failed to crack an .800 OPS in 10 seasons and finishes with a career mark of .785 that ranks just 106th among the 158 players to log at least 5,000 plate appearances since his debut in 1994.

He was a very solid hitter and underrated defensive left fielder who rarely missed games and was a big part of some very good Angels teams, including the World Series winners in 2002. That season he batted .306 with a .332 on-base percentage and .539 slugging percentage, homering 29 times and leading the league with 56 doubles while knocking in a career-high 123 runs to finish fourth in the MVP balloting.

Rays stadium project dead, team stuck in Tropicana Field until 2027

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LAS VEGAS — Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg appeared at the Winter Meetings a few minutes ago and said that the project which was intended to result in a new ballpark for the team in Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa has fallen apart. No new ballpark will be built and the three-year window granted to the team by the City of St. Petersburg to negotiate for a new ballpark will come to a close without any deal. The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be stuck in Tropicana Field through 2027.

Sternberg’s statement came mere hours after it was reported that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred sent a sternly-worded letter to Hillsborough County officials, blasting the framework for the deal for the new stadium in Ybor City, saying it lacked specifics and criticized “the actual level commitment” from the public side. It’s not unreasonable to read that as the Commissioner’s dissatisfaction with how much public money the County was pledging to complete the project. Sternberg said just now that “we were not close to a workable framework.”

In his comments this morning Sternberg noted that the Rays had worked “for ten years” to get a new stadium and that they’d continue to try to work to that end, but the team’s options are extremely limited. The Rays are party to what has been described as an iron-clad lease for Tropicana Field, lasting through 2027. Until three years ago the Rays were  prohibited from even talking to anyone about building a new ballpark outside of St. Petersburg. In December 2015 St. Pete granted the team a window to negotiate with Hillsborough County which Sternberg called “very generous.” It is now closing, however, and Sternberg said that there are no plans to ask St. Petersburg officials for a new one.

Which means that the Rays are likely stuck in Tropicana Field through 2027. While Sternberg talked of being creative and searching for any and all available options, he likewise said that “we need to figure out where the 2028 season will be played.”