10 MLB Stars That the Game Will Truly Miss in 2014
You Know You're Going To Miss These MLB Stars in 2014
MLB loses a handful of great personalities each year to retirement. However, the 2014 offseason is particularly interesting as the game of baseball is losing more icons than usual. In fact, the retirement class of 2014 might combine for two or three Hall of Fame players when it's all said and done.
Of course, any baseball fan with a pulse knows about Mariano Rivera calling a quits this past season, but the New York Yankees' closer isn't the only All-Star hanging up his cleats this winter. Some players are leave the game, prior to their total demise, while other athletes are shown the door by Father Time despite wanting to hang on a few more years.
Rivera definitely decided to go out on top as his final season left many Yankees fans wondering why No. 42 didn't just stay in the Bronx for at least another year. However, MLB fans know that there are times when a player is simply hanging on way too long and should just give up the reins already.
Either way, the game of baseball is losing a few iconic figures this offseason and it's going to take some time before we see the next Mariano Rivera or Jim Leyland take the diamond. With that being said, here's a quick rundown of 10 MLB stars that any true baseball fan will miss in 2014.
Dusty Baker was never anyone's favorite baseball manager, but he got the job done with three different organizations. Of course, you would have liked to see him win a World Series ring as a manager, yet that shouldn't undermine the positive impact he had on three different franchises.
Todd Helton was an absolute professional. During his prime, the Colorado Rockies' first baseman was guaranteed to finish with at least a .300 batting average just about every year. And to finish a 17-year career with a .316 batting average really shows just how great Helton really was.
I wavered on whether or not to put Ted Lilly on this list because he never really accomplished anything great. However, I put Lilly on here because he really personified what a left-handed pitcher is all about: being crafty. Lilly knew how to work a hitter and was an underrated piece to a couple of dangerous Chicago Cubs teams.
Of course, Scott Rolen will likely take Lilly's place on the list once the third baseman makes his retirement official.
The youngest member of the "Killer Bees" is hanging up his cleats. Do you feel old yet?
Mickey Mantle and Chipper Jones are the only two switch-hitters I would want over Lance Berkman as this hybrid was one of the most consistent players of his era.
Jim Leyland will be missed. Detroit Tigers' games just won't be the same without a cameraman panning down to the scrawny manager puffing on a cigarette. However, the time had come for Leyland to hand over the reins to someone else. Besides, Leyland can relax in his retirement knowing that a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame is definitely in the near future.
Not a single soul in baseball is going to miss the drama that surrounded Alex Rodriguez on an everyday basis.
Two steroid guys back-to-back? Yes, unfortunately.
Even still, Andy Pettitte is different from Rodriguez in the fact that people actually like Pettitte. In fact, both the Houston Astros and New York Yankees have shown great appreciation for the starting pitcher despite Pettitte's confession in regards to his use of PEDs early in his career.
The Mariano Rivera bandwagon is already so over capacity that I won't dare jump on it. Instead, I'll play devil's advoacate: The New York Yankees still don't have a real replacement for "Mo," so who is saying the Bronx Bombers don't give No. 42 a call sometime this season to close a few games?
Now, the Pedro Martinez and/or Greg Maddux fans of the baseball world won't agree with me, but Roy Halladay is the best starting pitcher of the 21st century. And while Clayton Kershaw is going to give "Doc" a run for his money in the coming years, the former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher set the bar rather high as his statistics and overall aura won't be matched anytime soon.
You hear that? It's the sound of every single one of Michael Young's former teammates crying in a large circle.
Okay, maybe not. However, Young is hands-down the face of Texas Rangers baseball as he took the franchise to new heights via his unselfishness and overall willingness to come to the ballpark everyday more prepared than anyone else.