Michael Cuddyer calls it a career at 36 years old

Cuddyer announces retirement

Yep. It’s official. I’m super old. Not super old but super, HELLA old. Michael Cuddyer retired from baseball and I feel old. Why him? No real clue. Never been a fan, never not been a fan.

I didn’t feel as old when Mariano Rivera retired or when I realized that both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were over 40 – ok, well sometimes I am better off in denial. Except at least A-Rod and Jeter are still have some years on me. I remember them coming up in the league and Cuddyer as well.

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Michael Cuddyer. Jim McIssac/Getty Images.

Michael Cuddyer has another year left on his contract with the New York Mets, yet he has gracefully decided to retire because he isn’t playing at an elite level anymore. He’s walking away from $12.4 million but in the grand scheme of things Cuddyer has enough money, still many athletes do not retired so gracefully. They will push themselves to play even when it hurts the team.

When Cuddyer came over to the Mets as a free agent last season, the team hoped that they would get the Michael Cuddyer who was the National League batting Champion with the Colorado Rockies in 2013 when he hit .331. He battled various injuries in 2014. They limited him to just 49 games in which he hit .332.

Unfortunately for both Cuddyer and the Mets, he hit just .259 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs in 408 plate appearances in 2015. Baseball-Reference.com tells us he was worth 0.5 WAR, barely above replacement level.

Cuddyer, who I hear is a very classy guy, beloved by his teammates, the fans and even the beat writers, knew it was time to walk away. He announced his retirement through the Players’ Tribune,

“It is especially difficult to imagine not suiting up in a Mets uniform for one more year. As an athlete, retiring is the toughest decision you have to make and I don’t make it lightly,”wrote Cuddyer. “I’ve never taken a single moment in the Majors for granted. It goes against every grain in my body to consider a future without the game. But after 15 years, the toll on my body has finally caught up to me.”

“I’ve always believed in loyalty to the game itself: the day that I can’t give it 100 percent is the day I have to walk away. Now that the day has come, it’s harder than I thought it would be.”

It’s always disheartening when a well-respected player who you’ve watched their entire career retires. It just seems so sad, like there will be a hole in the game. When Jeter and Rivera retired it was rough.

As I said I’m not a huge fan of Cuddyer and I’m not, not a fan. I like the guy and apparently so does everybody else. He’s always had a good reputation and rather than take the Mets’ money and struggle through one more year just to play, would’ve been expected from most players but not Cuddyer. He knows it’s time to hang up his cleats. I’ve watched him play his entire career.  

Cuddyer was a two-time All-Star, a NL batting champion and won a Silver Slugger Award. He finishes his career with a .277 career batting average, a .344 on-base percentage and a .461 on-base plus slugging percentage. That’s a solid career and I know I wish him the best. I’m sure we all do.

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