Jamie Moyer pitched his first professional game for the Geneva Cubs of the NY-Penn League in 1984. Twenty six years later, it looks like Moyer has pitched his last professional game after leaving a start for the Escogido Lions of the Dominican Winter League with an elbow injury.
The exact injury is unknown but Escogido's manager, former hand-urinater Moises Alou, told reporters that the injury was "career threatening."
This story saddens me a little because I like seeing players leave the game on their own terms, not because of injury.
If Jamie Moyer would have successfully completed his rehab this winter, there would have been scores of articles written about why he should retire. I'm sure if I searched hard enough, I'd find an article or blog post about why he shouldn't have been in the Dominican Winter League. Their reasons? He doesn't need the money. He can't perform like he did in his prime. Why spend time in minors/the Dominican/the minors/etc. after being in the majors so long? The media did the same thing with Rickey Henderson when he continued his playing career in the independent league a few years ago. Apparently, once a great player reaches a certain age, the media feel it is their right to decide when he should stop playing and their duty to protect that player from "ruining their legacy" or whatever rubbish they print as an excuse to be pompous decision makers for a player's career.
I applaud Jamie Moyer for attempting to continue his career at age 47. Something tells me that if he wouldn't have made a big league roster this spring he would have gone to AAA or for Camden or York, hoping to earn a return to the majors. The love and dedication to baseball that Jamie Moyer still shows, even after 26 professional years, is refreshing especially when the majority of baseball players seem to emphasize money and ego instead.
With this injury, it seems Moyer will avoid the critiquing, the second-guessing and the intrusion of the media into his decision of when to retire. However, unfortunately he may have lost something that I'm sure he valued, the ability to leave the game of baseball when he was ready.