Outfielder Jody Gerut, a 33-year-old who came to camp with the Seattle Mariners with the goal of making the team, retired today – with class, dignity and an articulate thought.
“I can no longer in good conscience play the game in the manner that reflects the positive example for the younger generation of baseball players,” Gerut said.
Think about that. Physically, Gerut was fine – he worked hard, ran hard, played hard in camp drills and an intrasquad game.
But he didn’t feel the passion that fueled his career. And that, for Gerut, was the end.
Baseball, he said, ‘defined ‘special’ in his life, but over the last three or four days he felt his competitiveness ebb. Instead, he felt apathy.
“One day I would have mishit a ground ball and not run hard to first base and had to answer to my coaches and my teammates for that,” Gerut said. “I don’t want to be that example to young players, to young fans of the game.”
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told Gerut if he ever reconsidered, to call him. Manager Eric Wedge said the same.
“You shouldn’t be apathetic about this game,” Gerut said. “I refuse to play that way.”: