I talked with Scott Eyre this morning and he told me that he is retiring.
He said even if the Phillies had improved their offer — they offered a Minor League deal — he still probably would have retired. Eyre seemed to be in good spirits following his decision, although Eyre always seems to be in good spirits.
Eyre went 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 61 appearances after he joined the Phillies in an Aug. 2008 trade with the Cubs. He won two National League championships and one World Series.
Not a bad way to go out.
Eyre truly is one of baseball’s good guys. Always friendly. Always helpful. I’ve never heard anybody say a bad word about him. People always ask me, “Who are the good guys on the team?” Eyre is one of them. He really seemed to appreciate that he got to play professional baseball for 13 years, and he seemed to savor every day at the ballpark.
Eyre recalled some of his best moments in baseball:
Favorite moment: “Obviously, the last out of the (2008) World Series. But probably my favorite moment was (Aug. 12, 1998). I got a spot start two days before my oldest son (Caleb) was born. Now I wasn’t the greatest starter. I think I was a pretty decent reliever in my career … but I got a spot start against the A’s. I threw five no-hit innings. We won the game, 2-0. It was me, Keith Foulke, Bobby Howry and Bill Simas. I struck out Rickey Henderson. I was a young kid in 1998, and that was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me. I still tell Caleb, ‘Two days before you were born I had the best start of my career.'”
Welcome to the Big Leagues Moment: “I came up in August ’97 with the White Sox. I made my first start in Anaheim and lost. I made my next start in Seattle, the night before Randy Johnson struck out 19 (on Aug. 8, 1997). The best part is that Jamie Moyer was in the dugout across from me. They just had that game on TV. My son was like, ‘What is it?’ I said, ‘Randy Johnson struck out 19 White Sox that day.’ He said, ‘He struck out Frank Thomas?’ I said, “Yeah, Frank Thomas. And Albert Belle and Mike Cameron and Chris Snopek …”
Coolest Moment: “I was with the Blue Jays in ’02 and I came in to pitch at Dodger Stadium for the first time (June 20, 2002). I grew up a Dodger fan. I went to a few games as a kid. I saw Dusty Baker play live as a kid. I got his autograph, and then he was my manager, which was pretty cool. Stuff like that I’ll never forget. I don’t even remember who I faced that day. My dad is like, ‘How do you not remember who you faced?” I was like, ‘Dad, I couldn’t give a crap.’ But the batter hit into a double play. I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. I just pitched at Dodger Stadium.’ And as I was walking off the field I was saying to myself, ‘And Vin Scully is saying my name right now.’ I met Vin Scully a couple years ago at Wrigley Field. I went up to the booth and talked to him for about 10 minutes. I told him that story. I don’t know if he remembers that story today, but I do and it’s the coolest.”
I think you can tell that Eyre loved his job, which he did very well for the Phillies.