Skip to content

Why would a 25-year-old quit baseball after his MLB debut?

Oct 30, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

adrian cardenas cubs Getty Images

Adrian Cardenas was a Phillies first-round pick in 2006 and established himself as a solid second base prospect, getting traded to the A’s for Joe Blanton in mid-2008.

He hit .292 at Triple-A and got a cup of coffee with the Cubs last season, appearing in 45 games as a 24-year-old, but decided not to play this season and is now retired.

And he wrote a really interesting essay for The New Yorker about why he called it quits so young, including this excerpt:

I quit because baseball was sacred to me until I started getting paid for it. The more that “baseball” became synonymous with “business,” the less it meant to me, and I saw less of myself in the game every time I got a check from the Philadelphia Phillies Organization, the Oakland Athletic Company, or the Chicago Cubs, L.L.C. To put it simply, other players were much better than I was at separating the game of baseball from the job of baseball. They could enjoy the thrill of a win—as it should be enjoyed—without thinking of what it meant to the owners’ bottom lines. These players, at once the objects of my envy and my admiration, are the resilient ones, still in the game. I am no longer one of them.

You should definitely read the whole thing, because it’s a fascinating glimpse into something most of us could never understand and Cardenas might have a future as a writer.

Latest Posts
  1. The Braves could shake things up in their baseball operations department

    Sep 20, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT

    braves logo large

    The Braves have wilted down the stretch and it appears that some changes could be in store for their front office following the season.

  2. The Yankees will open the gates early for their final home series next week

    Sep 20, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Getty Images

    With Derek Jeter’s career coming to an end, the Yankees will open the gates early next week for their final home series of the season.

  3. Giants mull over options as Tim Hudson continues to struggle

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

    Tim Hudson Getty Getty Images

    Hudson has a 9.92 ERA over four starts this month.

  4. Phil Hughes could finish the season with the best K/BB ratio in MLB history

    Sep 20, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    cb5dcb6958b647d1df076d653df15985 Getty Images

    Twins right-hander Phil Hughes has thrived with a change of scenery this season and he could finish the year with a place in MLB history.

  5. Masahiro Tanaka expected to be limited to 70-75 pitches in return Sunday

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    c3744cd5ad0be7c72993ae1f6d3a5888 AP

    Tanaka has been out since July 8 with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but he’ll make his return Sunday against the Blue Jays.

  6. VIDEO: Little girl throws back a Derek Jeter foul ball and horrifies parents

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT

    jeter ball

    I’m going to guess that the little girl is suffering from Jeter fatigue.

  7. John Lackey impresses in return to Cardinals’ rotation

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    8eacda0dc18fd4679845c6bf8f6157e4-1 Getty Images

    John Lackey had his most recent turn in the Cardinals’ rotation skipped due to a “dead arm,” but he was impressive in his return last night.

  8. Michael Cuddyer drove in a career-high seven runs last night

    Sep 20, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer Getty Getty Images

    Michael Cuddyer has had a really tough time staying healthy this season, but the impending free agent is making up for lost time right now.

  9. VIDEO: Fan catches Lucas Duda home run ball in his bucket of popcorn

    Sep 20, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

    fan popcorn

    A fan sacrificed his popcorn to catch a home run ball last night at Turner Field.

  10. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Sep 20, 2014, 8:57 AM EDT

    52a2981688df59976e21e02bd42d5156 AP

    A quick recap of a busy Friday around MLB, including the A’s getting back in the win column.

  11. Phillies minor leaguer suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    phillies logo Getty Images

    A Phillies pitching prospect violated the minor league drug policy and was suspended 50 games, beginning at the start of the 2015 season.

  12. Video: Russell Martin hits go-ahead three-run homer to send Pirates to a win

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    Russell Martin Russell Martin

    Russell Martin hit a timely three-run home run to send the Pirates to a late win over the Brewers on Friday night, extending their lead for the second NL Wild Card slot.

  13. David Ortiz broke a Ted Williams record with his 100th RBI

    Sep 19, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

    Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

    David Ortiz found yet another reason to hear his name uttered in the same breath as Ted Williams.

  14. Jacoby Ellsbury exits Friday’s game with a strained right hamstring

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury, Dioner Navarro Jacoby Ellsbury, Dioner Navarro

    Jacoby Ellsbury suffered a strained right hamstring in the fourth inning on Friday night against the Blue Jays. He’ll undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

  15. Mike Scioscia is considering using a three-man rotation in the ALDS

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    mike-scioscia-angels Getty Images

    The Angels’ rotation is thin beyond Matt Shoemaker, Jered Weaver, and C.J. Wilson, so manager Mike Scioscia may do the obvious thing and utilize a three-man rotation in the ALDS.

  16. Juan Lagares may not return to finish out the regular season

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    There isn’t much time left in the regular season, which may mean Mets fans won’t see Juan Lagares patrol the outfield until spring training in 2015.

  17. Twins shut down closer Glen Perkins with nerve irritation

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

    Perkins, who had a 2.44 ERA as recently as August 25, finishes the season with a 3.65 ERA and 66/11 K/BB ratio in 62 innings while saving 34 games.

  18. Shawn Kelley took offense to Jose Bautista’s antics after hitting game-tying homer last night

    Sep 19, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista Jose Bautista

    Jose Bautista offended Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley with his celebratory behavior after hitting a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning of last night’s game.

  19. Hyun-Jin Ryu hopes to resume throwing over the weekend

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Hyun-Jin Ryu Hyun-Jin Ryu

    Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t throw as expected on Friday, but hopes to do so before the weekend is over. He’s hoping to return to the Dodgers in time for the playoffs.

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3202)
  2. G. Stanton (2336)
  3. C. Kershaw (2313)
  4. D. Ortiz (2302)
  5. J. Hamilton (2222)
  1. N. Arenado (2221)
  2. A. Rizzo (2161)
  3. M. Trout (2090)
  4. A. Pujols (1882)
  5. H. Ryu (1821)