Thursday, May 13, 2010

Career Gone Sour: Eric Byrnes

In 2007 Eric Byrnes posted some nice stats: .286/.813, 103 r, 179 h, 30 2b, 8 3b, 21 hr, 83 rbi, and 50 sb at the age of 31. Naturally the Arizona Diamondbacks locked up the outfielder to a 3 year $30M deal. Sadly that was the last year he was even remotely productive. Since then he's fell upon rough times with slash lines like .209/.641 ('08), .226/.663 ('09), and .094/.393 ('10). After being recently released from the Mariners, after he was released this spring from the D-Backs, Byrnes decided to call it a career and announce retirement.
"To be honest, I don't really have any interest. I've never been scared for it to be done, for life after baseball, and it's not because I didn't love the game. Am I retired from baseball? Yes. Am I retired from life? Not even close."
~Eric Byrnes

To be fair, this wasn't a player who simply gave up and stopped trying. When healthy he played balls-to-the-wall with his hair on fire. He was loved by teammates and others all around baseball because of his charismatic personality that was mostly wacky and borderline crazy, but he was genuinely a good guy. It's a shame injuries derailed his career and that he could never live up to the large contract he signed.

Career Stats: .258/.320/.439, 963 g, 482 r, 827 h, 191 2b, 30 3b, 109 hr, 396 rbi, and 129 sb over 11 seasons with the A's, Rox, O's, D-Backs, and M's.


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