After eighteen seasons in the Major Leagues, Bobby Abreu is ready for retirement. Abreu offered an emotional goodbye to the game of baseball on Friday afternoon as he met with members of the media prior to the Mets final home stand of the season. Many close to Abreu feel that his time away from the game may be short lived, citing his interest in becoming a hitting coach.
In addition to thanking the New York Mets organization for allowing him one final opportunity to play in the Major Leagues, Abreu thanked his manager, teammates and fans. “I just want to say goodbye, and adios,” said an emotional and choked up Abreu.
Though his retirement may not come with the same pomp and circumstance as Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu had a tremendous 18-year career of his own. In 2,423 career games Abreu batted .291 with an outstanding .395 on-base-percentage. His .870 career OPS is greater than both Jeter (.810) and Chicago’s Paul Konerko (.841) who also say goodbye to the game of baseball later this week after illustrious careers of their own.
Earlier this season, Abreu’s run with the Mets appeared to have come to an end when the team designated him for assignment back on August 4th. However, his productive relationships with young latin players on the Mets roster such as Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada prompted his return to the big league club in a mentor role this September.
Abreu stated that he enjoyed working with the talented youngsters on the ball club this year, singling out Juan Lagares as a potential star down the road. Often considered an ideal candidate for a hitting coach position, Bobby felt that he was comfortable connecting with the young players around him and believed that he made a positive impact in their swings. When asked whether he would immediately seek employment as a coach, Abreu made it clear that he needs some time to collect himself before making any major decisions.
With regards to his current club, Abreu is excited for the future. “The New York Mets have special guys. A big future…They make me feel young,” he said with a laugh.
While the Mets will continue to look to the future, it is only appropriate to pay due respect to one of the most under rated ball players of the past eighteen years. As Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports points out, “He was an on-base machine who racked up 2,469 hits with 288 homers and 400 steals. Among all active position players only Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have gotten on base more times than Abreu’s career total of 3,977 and only Rodriguez, Jeter, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, and Chase Utley have a higher Wins Above Replacement total.” That is pretty impressive company for a man who quietly said goodbye today at the age of 40.