After an 11-year career with 5 different Major League Baseball teams, outfielder Matt Diaz decided to announce his retirement on Tuesday night, and he did so via the unique medium of his own, personal blog. Here is what Diaz had to say:
I’m moving on in my life from playing baseball. Notice, I didn’t say, I was done with baseball! How could anyone who loves the game ever “be done.” And certainly I love the game! I love the way it taught me to fail and get over it. I love the way it helped me become the man I am today. I love the way it’s provided for me and my family. There’s so much to love about this game. I just don’t love playing it anymore, and that’s how I know it’s time to not pursue a job playing this year.
It is a bit surprising to see Diaz retire, simply because he was active on both Twitter and his blog in discussing his healthy status moving forward toward 2014, and he seemed genuinely excited to play. The 35-year-old outfielder has some quality career numbers at the plate (.290/.338/.429 slash line), but he is best known as a platoon player who absolutely brutalized left-handed pitching throughout his career while peaking as a 2.5 WAR player with Atlanta in 2009.
In 1,039 career plate appearances against lefties, Diaz posted an exceptional .322/.363/.495 slash line (for a wRC+ of 126) and that was his “meal ticket” to last more than a decade in the Big Leagues. It wouldn’t be a shock to see a team attempt to lure Diaz out of retirement if they needed a bench bat down the stretch, but if he’s really done playing, it was a nice career.