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Baseball’s discrimination against old players has to stop

May 21, 2013, 5:38 PM EST

miguel batista getty Getty Images

Sorry. That headline may have been a bit dramatic. But see, I turn 40 in July. And while I’m generally cool with that — and while I am, in all honestly, in The Best Shape of My Life — it has dawned on me pretty clearly that we are almost to the point where there are NO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS OLDER THAN ME.  This is sobering.

I’m thinking about this because just this afternoon Miguel Batista was released. Just yesterday Derek Lowe was DFA’d. Mariano Rivera will retire after the season is over. Those are three of the very small handful of players left who were born before July 14, 1973. And while it doesn’t mean a heck of a lot when you think hard about it, it’s kinda sobering when you think casually about it. Athletes have always, in my mind anyway, been older than me. I know that that has mostly not been true for many years now, but soon that will almost be 100% not the case.

Assuming Lowe and Batista don’t latch on, who’s left older than your aging blogger here? Darren Oliver. Jason Giambi. Henry Blanco. Jose Contreras. Raul Ibanez. Andy Pettitte. LaTroy Hawkins. Ramon Ortiz. Bartolo Colon. That’s it, I believe.

Hold on guys. Hold on with all of your might.

  1. number42is1 - May 21, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    You forgot arods hip

  2. raysfan1 - May 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    I always rooted for Jaime Moyer to play just as long as he wanted because he’s a few months older than me.

  3. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Well, the Angels are giving Pujols a truck-load of cash and he’s like 37 or so (33 if you believe in unicorns and leprechauns). Not all old people are getting the shaft.

    • Kevin S. - May 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Weird, because the only fantasy I see here is someone assuming a non-prospect would risk incarceration and deportation for no apparent reason when he immigrated as a high-schooler.

  4. Stacey - May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Hahahahaha

  5. 4d3fect - May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    ..but hasn’t it been, with some exceptions of course, mostly a young man’s game?

    Surely someone with a stathead on their shoulders will be along presently to comment.

  6. stlouis1baseball - May 21, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Wait…Julio Franco is no longer in the league?

    *s/

    • jwbiii - May 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      Julio Franco was released by the Quintana Roo Tigres on May 1, 2008. He was the last player older than me.

  7. number1tribefan - May 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Jason Giambi doing OK for the Tribe this year in a limited role at 42.

  8. Brian Murphy - May 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    The first weird realization I had regarding athletes and how I am aging came when I found out that I was six months older than LeBron James. I know I shouldn’t be complaining, but it still took my mind for a loop.

  9. braddavery - May 21, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Jim Thome should still be playing. He’s probably a better hitter than anyone in Mariners lineup. It’s a travesty no one will sign him.

  10. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - May 21, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    This post made me realize that we’re probably only a season or two away from baseball players who are younger than the movie Jurassic Park. Yikes!

    • asimonetti88 - May 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Jurickson Profar was born in February 1993 and Jurassic Park came out in June 1993, so we are almost there.

  11. baseballicious - May 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Craig – Blogger in Chief and Publicist for BSOHL All-Star Team.

    • jwbiii - May 21, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      We call that Vice President for Communications and Media Relations now. :)

  12. coryfor3 - May 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    There used to be a common solution to old guys playing better and better the older they get…

  13. chacochicken - May 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Craig, we share birthdays. I was born on July 14th as well also in 1970 something.

    • chacochicken - May 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      If you noticed we also share birthdays with Steve Stone.

      • ditto65 - May 21, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Bastille Day!

      • chacochicken - May 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        Damn right!

      • lingerie00yardsale - May 21, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        Woody Guthrie, Tim Hudson, and Gerald Ford as well!

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        And Ingmar Bergman.

  14. kkolchak - May 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Eh..suck it up. The last “older man” to fall for me was Jamie Moyer. But I am eight years older than you.

  15. dremmel69 - May 21, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Craig –
    I hate to tell you, but this is just the beginning.
    – First, you are hit with the realization that “I am too old for my pro sports dream to come true”.
    – Then, the the ad execs on Madison Avenue stop making ads with you as the target audience. Also, understanding the “Madison Avenue” reference begins to work against you.
    – Then, your body rapidly moves from “slowing down the calorie-burning metabolism factory” to “I’m ignoring your calls” to “de-friending you on Facebook” to “Mr. Old Person, I am here to serve you with a restraining order”
    – Followed by “OMG, my birth year is included in the funeral insurance commercial!”, “WTF, why is the AARP sending ME email and magazines?”, “I need to invest in a pill keeper.”

    I am truly sorry for your loss…….

    • jwbiii - May 21, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      When your college alumni magazine comes, the first thing you look at is the obituaries section.

    • gloccamorra - May 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      ALL of that can be neutralized by a mustache, gold necklace(s) and a red sports car. It worked for me!

  16. philsieg - May 21, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Bunch o’ damn whiners. There’s no one playing that’s not young enough to be my son. Rub some dirt on it and get back on the field. And get the hell off my lawn. ;-)

  17. cocheese000 - May 21, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    If you want older players to still play than you will need players to be allowed to use TRT. It is allowed in UFC for older fighters so why not in the MLB?

  18. rbj1 - May 21, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    I want the discrimination against those of us who aren’t good baseball players to end. I have a right to a mega contract even though I’d strike out every time, not make any plays, and if I ever got on base would either clog the base paths or get picked off.

  19. thebigtim2012 - May 21, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    There’s always hope that good ol Timmy Wakefield could come out of retirement. I firmly believe his play is still good enough he just got bored with playing. Plus I would love to watch him out duel that fraud R.A. Dickey.

    • Last Road Reviews - May 22, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      How is R.A. a fraud? Is his using magic or something and throwing a curveball and with his powers manipulates us into thinking its a knuckleball?

  20. girardisbraces - May 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I dated a girl whose birthday was July 14th (albeit two years younger than Craig.)
    I shit you not, her name was Sunset. Awesome girl.

  21. kiwicricket - May 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Old Gator still has Jose Contreras who is older than him. Pretty sure the rest of us are safe.

  22. APBA Guy - May 21, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    And I say Miggy Tejada is older than you Craig. Prove to me he is not.

  23. hojo20 - May 21, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I’m gradually realizing I’m getting old when players from my first Topps set (1981) are starting to die.

  24. tropboi11 - May 21, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Ramon Ortiz will he the next one gone

  25. gloccamorra - May 21, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    This might be a good time to branch out into writing about golf, Craig. That game is much kinder to the calendar challenged.

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