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J.D. Drew, 34, likely to retire after the 2011 season

Sep 19, 2010, 8:53 AM EDT

Rob Bradford of Boston’s WEEI caught up with Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew on Saturday and the two discussed his plans for the future.  It sure sounds like the 34-year-old Drew, who has now played 13 seasons of Major League Baseball, might call it quits at the end of next season. 

His current contract with the Red Sox will be up at that point and he told Bradford that he wants to participate in faith-related missions and spend more time with his family.

“I don’t think people realize the intensity of being gone,” said Drew. “It’s really,
really difficult. Then there’s where I stand in my faith and my
commitment. Those things pull heavily when you start to get to this
point in my career. … I’ve had a great time in the game of baseball, and the relationships
I’ve come across have been great. But that being said, there’s only so
much you can do.”

Drew seems to miss a large chunk of playing time every season due to a range of injuries, but he’s one of the most productive and underrated players in all of baseball when healthy.  This year the right fielder has posted 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 435 at-bats and has batted .282/.370/.507 against right-handed hitters.  He still has great range on defense and a strong arm.

Drew is a stellar .281/.388/.499 career hitter with 234 career homers and 1,371 career hits.  He’s played for the Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Red Sox.

  1. Proudly Canadian - Sep 19, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    I thought that he retired years ago, but just did not inform the Red Sox.

  2. Crazimitch - Sep 19, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    He’s also pretty big jerk and overall lousy human.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    You sound like a Feelies fan who at some bad horsemeat and velveeta sliders last night. What’s da mattuh, still pissed off that your batteries missed him eleven years ago?

  4. Ditto65 - Sep 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Could you qualify these remarks, or are you just upset that you are stuck in a dead-end job while he gets to retire at 35 and do whatever he wants – which apparently includes missionary work, helping those less fotrunate.

  5. matt - Sep 19, 2010 at 11:13 PM

    Old Gator, are you actually defending Drew? He’s well known to sit out games with the slightest of injuries and his intensity has been questioned at every stop he’s made. Do you really think he lived up to his potential?

  6. Giant Space Ants - Sep 19, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    “Living up to his potential” does not equal “overall lousy human.” Much like your “miserable human being” comment with Carlos Beltran, it’s an extreme overeaction by someone who has an overblown sense of morality.

  7. Jack Marshall - Sep 20, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    There is no justification for impugning Drew’s character, and doing so has nothing to do with morality, everything to do with ignorance. He has an emotionless style, but is a complete pro, gets on base, has some power, and plays a great right field. His team mates seem to like him fine; he doesn’t stir up controversy, and nobody has ever accused him of faking injuries. The fact that his intensity has been “questioned” proves nothing…he’s obviously one of those guys who keeps his emotions under wraps. His offense is that he has a superstar’s salary, and is only a very good, championship-calibre player. That’s OK.

  8. quint - Sep 20, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    And as the Red Sox have seen this year, racing back from injuries and playing through injuries isn’t always a good thing (Cameron, Ellsbury, Pedroia).
    Drew does seem to get more injuries and bugs than anyone else, but taking a day of here and there seems to get him through a season. It isn’t ideal, but if thats what it takes.

  9. Old Gator - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    It’s not a question of “defending” him. He’s a big boy who thinks he’s got God on his side, so he hardly needs me to stand watch over his reputation. I just thought the “overall lousy human” crack was pretty off the wall, not to mention unsubstantiated by any particular episodes. But as long as you raise the subject, for all the questioning of his desire and ability, he’s had excellent years when he’s been healthy and there always seems to be another team that wants him. True, Drew isn’t a dick-waving go-team neanderthal like Joey Votto, for example – “I ain’t gunna sign no autograf for no nine year old kid whut wears some utter team’s hat” and what not – but as Craig notes above, his numbers have been pretty good for a career. It’s tough to live up to your “potential” – which most of the time is someone else’s idea of who and what you are – when you’re breaking bones, pulling ligaments and tearing muscles all the time. Some folks are just more frangible than others, and people have different pain thresholds. He’s a quiet guy who got hooked up with a manipulative asshole as a kid, got talked out of a season of experience for it and earned a bad rep from the git-go. There are “heel turns” to the wrong side of the tracks but if you start off with a bad rep, you could metamorphose into Mother Theresa and good luck shaking the image.
    .
    Besides, 55,000 hysterical, yowling, shrieking, cursing, battery-throwing Feelies fans can’t be right.

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