Cheers as Jorgey briefly gets off the bench for Mo's warm up on August 9th
Jorges hands off to Martin (this was that really cool game that I went to), who was on base at the bottom of the 8th and went to get in gear
Pretend Jorge were in any other field, take my field, public relations, for example. In New York, at his age, with his years of experience and successful track record, he would likely be an EVP at one of the top agencies like DeVries or Burson, or have his own agency that he runs to reflect his life's passion through the clients that he chooses. But in baseball years, he might as well be a number on the wall and a player at Old Timer's Day.
Yet, earlier this week, on an otherwise uneventful Monday, 41-year-old Jim Thome, once of the Good Sox (sans 2005 ring), hit his 600th home run - in the same game as his 599th home run - earning himself an accomplishment that only seven other men in the game have achieved. And he is still going.
When I was at the Yankees' game on Saturday, August 13th, sitting in the bleachers with the fans who both love to love the Yankees and love to express their disgust over them, Jorge hit a grand slam, his 10th in his career, and 6th highest all-time on the Yankees. After the initial madness, triple high-fives, screaming and clapping, which were followed a batter later with a curtain call, some of those around me began declaring "we just saw Jorge's last grand slam." Some agreed, some shook their heads, others kept silent. I rolled my eyes.
Not half an inning later, one of the "fans" behind us (whom the creatures around me called "Stub Hubbers") began talking loudly about how it was time for Jorge to retire and that the Yankees should announce it before the game was over. Clearly intoxicated on his multiple $11 beers - he even spent 15 minutes going on about what an amazing deal he got on chicken fingers and fries in a plastic bucket at Johnny Rocket's - the man was louder than most of the rest of the crowd and did not stop repeating his thoughts on Jorge.
What makes me sad, because I don't like change even though I welcome new Yankees quite happily, is that Mr. Loudmouth was probably right; Jorge won't be a Yankee for that much longer. It is hopefully another season, if only for the sense of comfort that a familiar lifer like Jorgey brings to the bench, but may just be 'til the Playoffs or sooner, as his recent out-of-game-time has made me worry. He is at the peak of retiring age, too much longer may seem desperate but it's long enough that we can all be thankful that we had him as part of our recent-decades core.
Plus, he's prime to have a number retiring ceremony and a heaping handful of Old Timer's Games down the line. It sounds like a pretty sweet time to be having at what is ultimately a young age for retirement.