A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cheechoo, meet Swisher

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Retiring Early

The A's are so young that the idea of retirement might seem foreign to a lot of them. But certainly a guy like Jeff Fassero, who just got released by the Giants and is 40, is thinking about it. I am 40, and I am thinking about retiring from my mens league baseball team too. The injuries start to mount, you realize you have lost a step. The soreness after a game is more every week. That's life though, what are you going to do? I am not going to get a bunch of surgeries and I don't have time to work out that much more than I already do. It's time to hang it up. But the bitches and the benjamins....

It seems like Roger Clemens has retired. At least I haven't heard of his comeback. To me that is too bad, because as sportsfans we lose when the best guys retire early. If Roger has similar problems to me, massive soreness and pain, then his quitting is understandable and justified. But the guy won the ERA title last year. He can definitely still play in the majors.

How about Lance Armstrong? In the last 7 years, there was no doubt in anyone's mind who the best cyclist in the world was. In the biggest stage race in the world, Lance was unbeatable. This year it looks like it will be wide open. Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Floyd Landis, Vinikurov, maybe even George Hincapie, Lance's little buddy, could win. Maybe even someone else. But whoever is standing on that podium at the end of the race will have to say to themselves, "I won today, but there is a guy out there who could have beaten me." Sports loses when guys retire early. One could argue that sports also loses when a guy retires too late, but that problem is of much lower magnitute. If Rickey Henderson's last years in the bigs had him struggling to hit .250 and platooning, it doesn't really take away from his dominance during his prime.

Then there is Bobby Fisher. Bobby Fisher won the World Chess Championship in 1972 and never played another professional game. All championships for the next 20 years had a black cloud over them. I think all the competitors and serious chess players and fans had this voice in their head saying, "There's a guy out there better than these 2 playing for the championship." When that happens, sports loses, we all lose.

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