Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Good old boys

The Giants announced today that Mike Matheny's out for the rest of the year due to lingering concussion problems. He may be forced to retire at the age of 36 and that's a shame.

When I started rooting for the Giants in 1958, that was seriously old for a ballplayer. With only 16 MLB teams, it wasn't uncommon for guys to stop playing once they got to 35. The injuries were often debilitating. In 1951, Joe Dimaggio had retired at 36. Ralph Kiner retired in 1955 at the age of 32. Al Rosen was done in 1956 at the age 34. Rocky Colavito -- finished at age 34 in 1968.

But Matheny's certainly not that old these days -- at least, not in comparison with the rest of the team. You probably know that the Giants have MLB's first 40-plus OF in history (Bonds, Finley, Alou) but there's more -- every position player on the team except Linden and Alfonzo is over 30; Vizquel and Stanton will be 40 next year; Durham will be 35; five of the other pitchers are over 30 (Schmidt, Morris, Kline, Wright and Blownitez).

Aside from Vizcaino and The Fat Weasal, veterans are usually supposed to equal poise and clutch play but a poster named +mia on the Only Baseball Matters site makes a good point that Brian Sabean may be a bit too enamored with the idea.

It is no accident that so many Giants happen to have San Francisco as their last stop before exiting MLB. Tucker, Reuter, JT. Snow, Alfonzo, and Grissom, represent the class of 2005. Five starters in 2005 are now out of baseball. Thats right; Five starters from 2005 are now out of baseball. Include relievers Jason Christiensen, Jeff Fassero who are unemployed, and Jim Brower who is in AAA in that head count and you have more than 1/3 of a major league roster, that are now out of the major leagues.
Only J.T. Snow was not signed under Sabean's watch. That is stunningly bizzare.
Next year threatens to be almost as bizzare with Matheny, Bonds, possibly Moises Alou, Steve Finley, and Jose Viscaino and possibly others hanging it up within the next 12 months--either voluntarily or involuntarily.


Blogger Marcus Kaz... said...

It's too bad about Matheny, hopefully he gets better and can play again

5:39 PM  

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