You can take your Nomar tributes and stick 'em where the sun don't shine, Red Sox fans. Other, more interesting people are retiring, too. Former Indians, Pirates, and Padres outfielder Brian Giles has called it a career after failing to impress the Dodgers or make his balky knee work right in Spring Training. Giles leaves the game with a career OBP of .400, good enough for 59th place all-time.
Giles' poor 2009 outing (.191/.277/.271 in 61 games) is fresh in our memories but let us not forget his 137 OPS+ at the age of 37 just the year before. Sometimes when 'old man skills' show up, they don't gradually ease their way in. In Giles' case, they burst right through the bar door and beat the productive career right out of him.
Fella is hanging up his hat after 15 years of making highlight-worthy catches, drawing walks by the boatload, and devoting countless hours to personal care. From his 2002 ESPN the Magazine interview with Dan Patrick:
DP: Best tan in baseball.
BG: Me or Jason Kendall. He's started on my tanning program. In fact, we just got back from the salon. We got our tips frosted, then we went for a couple of rounds in the tanning bed.
DP: I can just picture it.
BG: Don't knock it. We have a lot of fun. Our big thing is, after they get the foil in our hair for the frost, we sit under the dryers and gab.
DP: Like old ladies?
BG: Sure. Cracks us up.
One other tidbit from that interview: Giles mentions that his ideal post-career job would be either 'chef' or 'meteorologist'. Good choices, indeed, but I wouldn't be surprised if MTV announces in the coming weeks that Brian was joining the next season of "Jersey Shore".