Blog Entry

Rocco Baldelli retiring

Posted on: January 26, 2011 9:58 am
Edited on: January 26, 2011 10:02 am
 
BaldelliAt just 29 years, Rocco Baldelli has opted to retire, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

"I don't anticipate ever playing baseball again. I'm retired. The paperwork will be filed," Baldelli said, bringing a close to a seven-year career that began with so much promise. "And you know what. The only time I feel like it's good to retire is when you're happy to retire. And I'm happy."

Baldelli burst on the scene in 2003 by finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting as a 21-year-old. The Rhode Island native hit .289/.326/.416 in 684 plate appearances, cranking 11 home runs. While his first injury would limit him to 565 PA in 2004, he finished with a .280/.326/.436 line with 16 home runs. He was the apple of the then-Devil Rays' eye.

But those two years would be the last he would appear in 100 games. He missed 2005 with injuries that turned into the revelation he had channelopathy, causing fatigue -- not a good thing for an athlete to have.

"I don't regret anything," Baldelli said. "You know what's sad is that I love to play, and I really didn't get a chance to do it as much as I wanted to," Baldelli said.

"But I don't live angrily; I live kind of happy. Why would I look at the negative aspects of everything that I've been through and live the rest of my life talking about those things that aren't the important things to me? The important things to me were all the wonderful things I got to do."

Baldelli looked to be gaining the upper hand in his return to the game in 2006, posting a .302/.339/.533 line in 387 PA with 16 homers, but appeared in just 35 games in 2007 and 28 in 2008. However, he was able to be on the field during the 2008 postseason, hitting two big home runs and contributing a single in the fifth inning in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Red Sox to push the Rays to the World Series.

Baldelli went to the Red Sox for the 2009 season, making 164 plate appearances, but also struggling to stay on the field even as a backup outfielder. He rejoined the Rays and worked in their front office, making a late-season appearance and homering in his first at-bat. Despite just 25 plate appearances under his belt, Baldelli made the postseason roster but was forced to withdraw after the first game due to his body failing him again.

"It's tough, because you almost never put playing and being an athlete behind you," Baldelli said. "But in my mind, I already feel like it's a step behind me."

Baldelli will now join the Rays' front office as a special adviser, working in scouting and player development. He finishes his playing career with a .287/.333/.443 line in 2,065 plate appearances, bashing 60 home runs.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

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Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

It's a shame it has to end this way but his head is on straight about the decision and he's moving into his future.  Good luck Rocco.



Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

He gave it his all.   And even when he still had lingering issues, he was a factor on the teams he was on, Sox, Rays..etc.     But, it must be meant to be.  My guess, is you see him in a dugout leading a team, sooner than later.   He may end up in the Sox offices, with his ties to Theo, and there penchant for youth moves, like they did with Gabe Kapler.

Sorry we lose him on the field, but he will be fine, and we will see him again, this I am sure of.





Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

sad to see, this was a guy who I really thought would be a great player and like so many others it never happened. Sky was the limit just like it was for Matt Anderson who flamed out - but is eyeing a comeback something I dont think Rocco will do. Good luck with whatever it is you pursue



Since: Apr 19, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

If you're a baseball fan, how could you not like a guy named Rocco. Sorry to see him go. I always pulled for him except when the Rays played the Phils in the World Series... sorry Rocco. This guy had some raw talent and a great head on his shoulders. Baseball needs more guys like this in the game. Good to see the Rays give him a job in the front office... he seems like good people. Good luck to you Rocco~!




Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:33 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

A sad story of what could have been!




Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

It is sad to see a great athlete retire due to physical ailments while at such a young age.  What is encouraging is seeing the attitude displayed by this young man.  I remember when he came into the league and producing at such a young age.  What sets him apart from so many is that he realizes that he received an opportunity that most don't even get a sniff of.  Every athlete has a timetable when their bodies just break down for whatever reason (especially with pitchers).  Many stars fall off the map in junior high or high school......many who are a step above even those who make it!  As a Cub fan, I got to see Prior and Wood come into the league with so much promise only to run into  injury problems.  You can't blame an individual or an organization usually when injuries occur.  Our bodies and arms are not meant to coil back and hurl an object 95 MPH.  My arm gave out when I was 20 and my dreams of playing in the pros quickly vanished.  For Rocco, he feels fortunate and blessed to have made it this far and to have gotten what he did out of his body.  I wish him well and know that the Rays have made a wise choice to keep him in the organization........He can always play old timer fast pitch baseball like I do if he gets the craving for competition again.



Since: Dec 8, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2011 11:37 am
 

Rocco Baldelli retiring

It really is a shame when you hear about something like this. Especially when a guy puts in all of the effort to play the game, and is then just hit with roadblock after roadblock. Then there are guys who take steriods and such to gain an edge, and i'd feel no simpathy for them, but then there are guys who have been playing the game since they were little kids who just have their career taken out of their hands by injuries. It really is unfortunate.


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