There comes a time when every player must make the painful decision to hang up their glove. From what I’ve heard this is the most difficult part of a player’s career. That time has finally come for veteran Jamey Wright. The 41-year right hander who has pitched in 19 major league seasons announced his retirement on Monday. The Dodgers told him that he would not be making the opening day roster, so he called it quits.
Of course I was just about to write an article pleading with him to retire. He probably should have done it a couple of years ago. No disrespect to Wright. He’s a wonderful guy and has an incredible knowledge of pitching stemming from 19 major league seasons. That’s nearly two decades on the mound. He should have retired a while ago, and I cringed every time I watched him pitch this spring.
I remember when Stacie and I were invited to the sportsnetla studios to see a live taping and watch the Dodgers take on the Giants in San Francisco. Orel was talking to us about his career and how amazing his time in the major leagues was. He said it went by so fast, and about not wanting to end the lifestyle. He said once you’re living that baseball lifestyle, you don’t want it to stop.
That’s certainly understandable. If I were a professional baseball player I wouldn’t want the good times to end either. Many players hang on way too long. Orel cried when Tommy Lasorda told him he was cut during his last days as a player. First year Dodger manager Dave Roberts gave Wright the news that he was cut from the club.
Wright will retire back to his home in Colorado and become a full time father to his three children. Apparently he was in full reflection mode on an incredibly long and successful career. Wright’s career spanned nearly two decades, six presidential elections, 10 teams, 719 games, and 2036.2 innings pitched. Wright shed tears when packing up his stuff and saying goodbye to his teammates.
There is no reason for Wright not to become a pitching coach, or bench coach somewhere. He has the experience and the knowledge to be a great coach at any level. After all the guy has been pitching for almost 20 years. Wright was trying to make the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee. This would have been his third sting with the club after pitching with the Dodgers in 2012, and 2014. Wright did not pitch at the major league level in 2015, so his final appearance was as a Dodger.
Wright ends his career with a 97-130 record, and a 4.81 ERA. He struck out 1,189 batters, and made his first and only postseason appearance in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays. Wright’s only big league home run came in 1998 with the Rockies. He pitched three complete game shutouts, and had 64 hits. Wright pitched in 8 games for the Dodgers this spring, and posted a 12.15 ERA. Across 6.2 innings pitched he gave up nine earned runs on 14 hits and struck out six.
Good luck Jamey! I hope to see you in the dugout coaching someday.