Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shawn Green, Calling it a Career

Yeah, this has nothing to do with the M's, but it feels kind of weird for Shawn Green to be retiring (and he's two months younger than me for crying out loud).

From a baseball fan and a fantasy baseball perspective, I've always had kind of a love/hate relationship with him. Here's a skinny white kid who can hit 49 home runs, drive in 125 runs, and swipe two dozen bags. He had a stretch with Toronto and the Dodgers that was just silly. I could run the official numbers, but I'd bet his OPS between '98 and '02 was about .930. He hit better than 40 home runs three times, drove in 100 or more runs four times, stole 20 or more bases four times, and scored over 100 runs four times. That's just insane production over five years.

And then in 2003, it was pretty much over. He's always been able to get on base (hey, maybe he could guest coach for the M's this spring and teach them how to do that), but his tremendous power would only come in little fits and his wheels all but disappeared. He became human, and that's when I started referring to him as Sham Green.

But I really do have to say it seems weird for the guy to retire. Maybe it's because we're the same age. Maybe it's because he's one of the better outfielders of my generation. Maybe it's because I've always been impressed he took off Yom Kippur during a pennant race.

Whatever the case, in his prime, he was among the elite and was tremendously entertaining to watch hit. He finishes with a career .283/.355/.484 line including 328 HR's, 1070 RBI, and 162 stolen bases. Not too shabby.

Nice career, Shawn. Have fun at home with your kids. And your $100 million dollars.

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