Reliever Brian Fuentes, who briefly played for the Cardinals last season before suddenly abandoning the team for unspecified reasons, announced yesterday that he has decided to retire.
Fuentes told the Merced Sun-Star, his hometown paper, that he left the Redbirds because it was the farthest from his family that he ever played and he simply missed them too much to continue.
Of all the reasons he could have had to walk away, I guess being dedicated to his family was a pretty good one. But I wonder if Fuentes was informed that they actually have places where whole families can live in St. Louis.
While he struggled through the season, Fuentes showed in spurts that he can still pitch. And the Cardinals certainly could have used a decent lefty out of the bullpen during the playoffs. With the Redbirds missing the World Series by only one game, it is reasonable to believe that if Fuentes could have helped St. Louis stop just one rally in the National League Championship Series that he might have earned himself a World Series ring.
Good thing the Cardinals didn't sign Fuentes a few years back when he left the Rockies for the Angels. St. Louis fans were disappointed at the time that Fuentes took less money that the Redbirds offered to play in California. If he would have suffered a similar emotional meltdown while the Cardinals were paying him big bucks, it would have been even more upsetting to the team than it was when he walked a way while St. Louis was paying a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum after the lefty was dumped by Oakland.