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Mike Maroth retires

Jan 26, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Mike Maroth

Back when I practiced law, there was a partner who lost a big case. Millions of dollars at stake, and his client got creamed.  We all wanted to taunt him about it afterward, but he simply said “gentlemen, it takes one hell of a lawyer to lose a case as big as that.” We thought he was joking around, but there’s real truth there: if you’re simply no good, no one is ever going to give you the chance to fail that big.

Pitching can be like that.  If you stink, you’re gone.  But it takes a hell of a pitcher to lose a lot of games.  Mike Maroth was like that. He was the last pitcher to lose 20 games in a season when he lost 21 for the 2003 Tigers.  Yes, I know that the Tigers roster was way thin that year and someone had to pitch, but Maroth was good enough, healthy enough, and professional enough that Alan Trammell felt OK sending him out there day after day after day, where he eventually locked up loss number 21.

I wouldn’t normally make a point to post about a guy like Mike Maroth retiring, but baseball isn’t just about excellence. It’s about persistence too, and it’s about character. Mike Maroth showed both of those things in 2003. And after that dubious notoriety, he managed to put together a couple of good seasons, including one for a pennant winner in 2006. He was left off the postseason roster that year. He probably didn’t like that much, but I have this feeling that he got OK with it eventually. He’d been through worse on a baseball diamond.

Good luck with whatever you do, Mike.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    It’s just nice to hear a player is officially retiring and is comfortable doing so. I feel like in the past few years, so many guys aren’t retiring so much as they’re falling off the face of the earth.

  2. shaggylocks - Jan 26, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    We all know that the record for most career wins by a major league pitcher was set by Cy Young with 511 games. But I think that overshadows an even more interesting statistic: Cy Young also holds the record for most career losses.

    No one won more games than Cy Young. No one lost more games than Cy Young.

    There’s a lesson there, for sure.

    • pestiesti - Jan 26, 2011 at 3:15 PM

      Yes, the lesson is that Cy Young pitched a ton of games.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 26, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        No, the lesson is that to get to be better than the rest, you have to go through that much more. It’s a long hard road to #1.

  3. jhorton83 - Jan 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    What’s your favorite Mike Maroth memory?

    • Chris K - Jan 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      When he signed with the Jays!

  4. Brian Murphy - Jan 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

    Who will now carry the torch for UCF baseball??????

  5. BC - Jan 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    The guy had more-than-decent stuff – was behind home plate at a Red Sox game, I think 2004 or 2005, the year after he lost the 21 games, and his stuff was quite good. Threw a nasty breaking pitch, think it was a slider. Thing had a huge bend to it. Down and in to lefthanded hitters. Made Ortiz look foolish.
    Unfortunate that the guy’s arm basically fell off.
    Mr. Maroth – good luck in future endeavours.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 26, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    By the way………..

    There will never be a Mike Maroth-on again.

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