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The Royals defeated the Twins 4-0 Wednesday and Jason Vargas was dealing like a champ shutting out the Twins without issue. Yet, there was a bigger story on the day involving a player who was discarded by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim without a second thought. They didn’t think about the great and lengthy career he had had, they didn’t think about the moral boost he can be in clubhouse, they didn’t care. The only thing that mattered to them was that Raul Ibanez wasn’t hitting like he did last season, when he hit 29 home runs for the Seattle Mariners. They wanted C.J. Cron in their lineup, PERIOD. END OF STORY.
At first it looked as though it might be the end of Ibanez’s story. The end to a 17-year long incredible career that shouldn’t have even been at least according to the ” baseball professionals.”( You can read about the very unassuming yet amazing career of Raul Ibanez here! )
At 42-years old it could have been the end for Ibanez but he didn’t retire because he was released, he stayed on the free agent market and I would bet that both he and the Kansas City Royals, who signed the veteran to a major league contract, are glad he didn’t retire.
Wednesday Ibanez helped back up a beautiful outing by Vargas with a solo shot in the eighth inning making him the oldest player in Royals’ history to hit a home run. Not only that it was his second hit of the game and the Angels said he was done. Really? Ok, well good for them.
At 42 years and 31 days old, the homer was Ibanez’s first in a Royals uniform since September 22, 2003. The organization signed the free-agent to add a positive veteran presence to a young club house as well as to provide back up extra-base power. Ibanez understands his role, the potential of the 2014 Royals (they can be capable of a lot in the post season!) and is happy to back with the Royals after a decade,
“I’m here because I want to be here — not because I have to be here,” Ibanez said. “I had other opportunities. But I thought this would be the most rewarding opportunity, because of the significance of what it would mean to the city and to the franchise if this team does what it’s capable of doing.”