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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rick Ankiel retires, looking for front office job

Rick AnkielRick Ankiel’s complicated baseball playing career has come to an end.

According to MLB.com, St. Louis Cardinals announcer Dan McLaughlin said during Wednesday’s spring training broadcast that Ankiel was retiring and looking for a front office job in MLB. Ankiel addressed the announcement via his Twitter account:

Ankiel, 34, had one of the more interesting playing careers in recent times.

Ankiel made it to the majors as a 19-year-old in 1999, posting a 3.27 ERA in 33 innings for the Cardinals. He had an excellent full regular season in 2000 and went 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 175 innings, but then he totally lost it in the playoffs. Ankiel infamously unraveled in the postseason, imploding against the Braves and Mets. He threw 9 wild pitches and walked 11 batters in four innings.

Ankiel pitched briefly in 2001 but did poorly, then missed all of 2002 and 2003 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He pitched 10 innings as a reliever in 2004, but then called an end to his pitching career. He decided to try becoming a position player.

Ankiel’s transition to an outfielder actually worked out quite well. He made it back to the bigs as an outfielder in 2007 and batted .285/.328/.535 with 11 homers in 47 games. He clubbed 25 home runs and produced an .843 OPS the next season. But Ankiel never hit above .240 after that, and he has retired after being released by the Astros and Mets last season. He hit .188/.235/.422 last season.

All in all, Ankiel still had a good career given what happened.

H/T MLB Trade Rumors


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