I see that former Reds 2B Bret Boone has decided to retire at age 37:
Boone was in the outfield, hours into a workday of typical Spring Training drudgery when he noticed 22-year-old Jose Reyes prancing in the infield as if he were a colt. “He’s bouncing off walls, his hat flying off,” Boone said. “That used to be me.
“I knew what he was feeling — he can’t wait to get to the ballpark.”
Boone no longer had that sense. He referred to playing as “a job” on several occasions. He told of his inability to focus as he had so readily even two years ago. He recalled having running conversation with his shortstops during infield sessions and turning double plays without thought. “Now I have to work at it.”
Now he doesn’t.
I hope Bret Boone enjoys his retirement. He had some good years with the Reds, some better years with the Mariners. Boone frustrated me a lot of the time, but I always enjoyed watching him play second base.
Redleg Nation wishes him the best.
When the Reds traded Boone for an established starter (Neagle), it seemed like the right idea. He was about to turn 30, was becoming expensive, and they had a younger guy (Reese) ready to take his place. His surprising power surge two years later (becoming a 30+ HR guy in a pitcher’s park) and thickened physique has always seemed puzzling to me, to put it charitably.
Another ‘roids burn-out. Can’t get it up without the juice. And then the depression sets in. The tears begin to flow. Violins play. “So long, it’s been good to know ya”.
Mysterious thickening aside, I don’t think Pokey Reese’s career numbers match even one of Boone’s best seasons at the plate. I was sad to see Boone go, and even sadder to watch Pokey Reese and Gookie Dawkins try to become the dynamic infield of the future. Wise words to remember: nicknames aren’t nearly as much fun as good players are.