Alas, Percy, we hardly knew ye.

Troy Percival, after 3 different names on the same team, one diaper-wearing simian, one team change, one exploded forearm, and many, many ballpark hotdogs, is finally hanging up his cleats. Despite the strange claims that he was feeling up to trying to be a starter this season if he couldn’t snag the closing spot, I think we were all expecting this.

It’s not 110% certain, and he says he would come back if there was some sort of miraculous improvement before the season started, but that just doesn’t seem at all likely. In fact, his locker in Lakeland was cleared out the other day, which appears pretty final to me.

He’s been in a lot of pain and was willing to play through it, but this spring it became evident that he simply could not pitch at the level to which he had become accustomed, regardless of the pain.

“I’ve been in pain every day,” Percival said. “It’s just the level of pain, whether you can deal with it or not. Changing my mechanics to do what I was doing out there, I can get by. But I can’t throw the way that I’m accustomed to throwing, which is three-quarters, getting my arm away from my head. Right now, I’m forced to short-arm. I tried a few times to get my arm away from my head today and it was just not possible.”

official site

Again, not surprising. I was more surprised that he was honestly going to attempt a comeback this season. The kind of injury he had was not a little tweak, or something nonessential… he had shredded the muscles of his forearm, the muscles that, if they fail to provide support, can leave your UCL high and dry and busted. In a young guy just starting his career, maybe you try to fix that; patch up the muscles somehow, do the Tommy John on the ligament if it starts to go. But after 11 years in the majors, 15 years as a pro (minor league career included), at the age of 36, it’s just not worth it for Percival to even make the attempt, nor is there any guarantee that the amount of damage (both accumulated and acute) in his arm can even at this point be repaired.

The Tigers aren’t exactly caught by surprise here, as they’ve got good ol’ Walrus Face, aka Todd Jones, lined up for the closer’s spot anyhow. Percival will ultimately be remembered as a California Anaheim Los Angelos Rally Monkey Angel, and rightly so. He didn’t do much of anything in Detriot, what with the arm explosion and all, but we did appreciate the readiness with which he signed here, and the way he acted like Detroit was a Real Honest to Gosh Baseball Team, instead of somewhere aging overpriced free agents went to die (true though that may be).

So we’ll tip our hats to him and wish him good luck in his retirement. So long Percy, and thanks for all the fish. Er. Or something.

4 responses to “Alas, Percy, we hardly knew ye.

  1. […] It’s old news now, but Troy Percival has retired – sort of. He’s retired in the sense that he’s not playing anymore, but not in the sense that he still isn’t under contract and earning $6 million this year. Fortunately the Tigers will get some insurance relief (I want to say I read $3 million somewhere but I can’t find it now). Brian and Sam have wrapped up Percival’s career pretty thoroughly. I was pretty positive about the Percival signing at the time, as the idiocy in the following paragraph will show: The other reason I

  2. […] It’s old news now, but Troy Percival has retired – sort of. He’s retired in the sense that he’s not playing anymore, but not in the sense that he still isn’t under contract and earning $6 million this year. Fortunately the Tigers will get some insurance relief (I want to say I read $3 million somewhere but I can’t find it now). Brian and Sam have wrapped up Percival’s career pretty thoroughly. I was pretty positive about the Percival signing at the time, as the idiocy in the following paragraph will show: The other reason Iím kind of excited about this signing, is that I think it might signal that Illitch is ready to win now. The Tigersí arenít looking for value, they are looking to get better. While Iím not crazy about signing Jeff Kent and displacing Infante to the left side of the infield it would bolster the offense. With the Kent discussions and the Percival signing it seems like the Illitch is looking to win in the next two years as opposed to building a team for the future. This could be like the summer that the Wings acquired Hasek, Hull, and Robitaille. This could be what Illitch promised Pudge last year. This could be the year the Tigers stop thinking like a small market team and the payroll surpasses $80 million. I know Iím making a large jump based on one meeting and one signing, but this could be the year the Tigers make the leap. […]

  3. And the extra bonus points for the Hitchhicker’s Guide reference are awarded to Samelantha! ;D

  4. Who doesn’t love Hitchhiker’s? People who don’t believe in humor, that’s who. And I give up, totally. This is why I started telling people at school to just call me Sam. :P

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