I hadn't seen any discussion on OTM about this:
So I thought I'd create a fanpost for it. I'll steal the banner quote from the above:
"My calling is to play this game, but now that I have two small kids there are things I look forward to do outside of baseball that you can't do because of the eight-month season. Do I stick around for a year or two more? Do I finish up strong and see where I'm at? That'll be an on-going battle during the last year of my contract, for sure." - Drew
Most folks here know I'm a big Drew fan - he does everything in the game I want out of a player. Gets on base. Creates outs. Rocket arm. Cool under pressure. I loved the way he looked so professional both in the field and at the plate. I'm a results oriented sorta guy and never got the hate that certain media jerks kept heaping on Drew.
I especially grew disgusted at the many misconceptions that folks perpetuate about Drew. His first season with the Red Sox his numbers were down a bit. Coming right off the big contract signing, folks screamed he was dogging it and didn't care. Most folks don't realize that his child was ill and that was clearly a distraction. A lot of ignorant fans think he's "soft" and injury prone. They call him "Nancy Drew" and think he doesn't try harder to stay on the field. Even fans who like Drew often make comments to the extent that they don't think he stays healthy.
Well, he's no Cal Ripken, Jr. But since Drew has been a Red Sox player, only Ortiz, Youkilis & Pedroia have played more games. He's played 386 games over these last three years. And note that Ortiz is a DH and Youk is a first baseman. That kind of puts the lie to Drew being unable to get on the field and earn his money.
I won't go into all the many stats that show how Drew has been one of the top 2 or 3 Right Fielders in the game in overall value for us. Those have been plastered all over many discussions on this board these last few months.
I'm hoping that Drew will put up those same sorts of numbers to close out his career.
Finally, I also respect Drew for placing family at the top of his priority list. I'll miss seeing him in RF in Fenway. But if this means he retires a Red Sox, (just in time for Westmoreland, Kalish & Co.) that's okay. He'll be 36 so that should be just about the right time to go out walking tall.