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Darnell McDonald announces retirement on Instagram

Apr 6, 2014, 3:43 PM EDT

Darnell McDonald announced his retirement from professional baseball in a unique way on Saturday night, using Instagram — or rather Flipagram — to produce a pictorial of his career:

McDonald, 35, batted .250/.314/.397 over parts of seven major league seasons.

He played for the Orioles, Twins, Reds, Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    whos darnell mcdonald

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      He is much better known than you are.

  2. pisano - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    That’s sure to rock the world of professional baseball.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Was really rooting for him when he was on the Sox. Got a fair shot but was always going to be more of a bench player.

  4. djandujar - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM


    • proudlycanadian - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      Are you trying to be an owl?

  5. luz56 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Never heard of the guy! I’m sure he’s made his millions being a nobody like most athletes

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      He is certainly better known than you, although I doubt that he made millions.

      • clydeserra - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        according to Baseball reference, $976,000 in MLB. a good rule of thumb is well over half goes to taxes agents fees, and clubhouse dues.

        Another large chunk went to maintaining two homes 6-8 moths a year. As will all AAAA guys, maybe 4 depending on how often he got called up and sent down.

        So yeah, I bet he doesn’t have much left over.

  6. raysfan1 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    I think what caught Drew’s attention most, and prompted this post, was the manner in which he chose to announce his retirement, not his prominence as a player.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Has Theo Epstein been put on suicide watch yet?

    How is he ever going to find 5 more light-hitting corner outfielders to replace him?

  8. professor30 - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    All jokes aside this dude was a class act with the Sox. Knew his role, always gave 100%
    and got some big hits, not to mention his off the field contributions. Good luck Darnell.

    • rje49 - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      Yeah, speaking of big hits, I remember the homer he hit in Houston that hit the train, up behind the left field stands.

  9. prideonice - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    I’m sure all the commenters here were amazing ballplayers…

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 6, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      I’m sure most of those commenting here are better at their chosen profession than he was at his chosen profession.

      (This is the stupidest comment one can make, for the record, when someone criticizes athletes for not being as good as their peers….it’s like pointing to that tree trimmer who put the chainsaw through his neck and saying “Pff, like you could even get the chainsaw started”)

      • genericcommenter - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        A 1st round MLB draft pick, who made it to the majors in his early to mid 30s several times when he wasn’t even on the 40 man and had to make teams want to pull him out of AAA, I think he did OK at his chosen profession.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        He was a fine AAAA player.

        But a career OPS+ of 89 and total WAR of 1.4 would suggest that no, he wasn’t very good.

        I’m not even knocking the guy though. I am knocking the idiotic notion that criticizing players for their abilities is wrong unless the person criticizing the player is a better player than the target of the criticism. That is the laziest and stupidest defense of a player that is possible. “Well it’s better than YOU could do.”

        (Although, for the record, the fact that he was a first round pick shows that he was quite the failure overall)

      • raysfan1 - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        Number of people who play baseball in the USA each year: roughly 40,000,000
        Number of players in MLB: 750

        Making a MLB roster at all means someone is damn good at playing baseball.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        Actually, in Darnell’s case, it means they lucked into a position where the guy in control of the roster has some weird fascination with power position players that can’t hit for power under any circumstances.

        This also heavily benefited the likes of Ryan Sweeney, Brent Lillibridge, Brian Anderson, Joey Gathright, Mark Kotsay (HE STARTED 16 GAMES AT 1B FOR BOSTON! LOOK IT UP!)….

  10. genericcommenter - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I give him a lot of credit for being a 1st Round Draft pick who made a million bucks before he ever played and then dealing with the realities and limitations of his game to hang on to make some MLB rosters long after he was forgotten (for all those saying “who?” if you were around in 1996-1997 when he was a top high school player who chose baseball over a football scholarship as a highly recruited RB you wouldn’t be asking that) and lost his prospect status. He made multiple teams out of ST or shortly after as a 30+ year-old reserve OFer on non-40 man AAA contracts, and playing in Venezuela at 35 and signing minor league deals, you get the idea he really loved to play.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:37 PM

      Well said.

  11. Detroit Michael - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    For those who want to take a cool retirement announcement and turn it into an opportunity to debate whether McDonald was a failure, (1) that strikes me as a bit churlish and (2) at least get your facts right.

    In the 1997 amateur draft, there 52 players selected in the first round, including supplemental picks. McDonald was the 26th overall pick, so right at the median of that group in terms of where he was selected. 21 never played in the majors. Of those that played in the majors, McDonald had the 13th most valuable career, as measured by baseball-reference’s version of WAR: Only about 10-15 of the 52 players selected achieved much fame, even among baseball fans.

    Seems to me that even if one gives McDonald no credit at all for becoming a first round pick to start with, he still experienced a level of success above the median from that point onward.

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