Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Salomon Torres retires

You may have heard the news this afternoon that ex-Pirate and current Brewer Salomon Torres has retired. At first glance there probably seems like there's not much there, but I think this is worth spending at least a few minutes on for one simple reason: there's not one person that's enjoyed being a Pittsburgh Pirate more in the past ten years than Salomon Torres.

Most people probably know the story of Torres now, but in 1993 Dusty Baker picked him to start the one-game playoff between the Giants and Dodgers and Torres was shelled on the way to a 13-1 Giants' loss, resulting in a 103 loss team missing the playoffs. Torres, who was a highly-touted prospect at the time, never seemed to bounce back from that blow. He struggled with the Giants and was traded to Seattle in 1995, then went to Montreal on the waiver wire in 1997. He was so distraught by the whole sequence of events that he retired in after the '97 season. In 2001 he decided to try a comeback and he went to Korea to pitch. From there, the Pirates signed him and while he struggled at bit at first, he found a niche in the bullpen at the end of 2003. He was always grateful to the Pirates for giving him his second chance and he was even a little disappointed when he was traded last winter, even though it meant a chance at the playoffs. You can't really find that kind of loyalty to a team anywhere these days, and I was always appreciative of it.