Carleton: A veteran and his presents

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on September 3, 2015:

There’s the “wrong side” of 30, and then there’s the wrong side of 35. I’ve blown past the former and am quickly creeping up on the latter. In a baseball clubhouse (and, increasingly, in a baseball front office!) I would be the old guy in the room. I can still draw comfort from the fact that there are major leaguers who are older than I am, although more and more, they seem to be guys who carry the tag of “He’s great in the clubhouse!” rather than “He’s great in the WAR column!”

There’s often a lot of talk about teams having “veteran presence” in the clubhouse. There are certain players who seem to have a job waiting for them inside a clubhouse, even though they are “old,” injury-plagued, and not very good any more. But they are still passable major-leaguers and get high marks for being the guys who might rub off on some of the younger players. Perhaps they lead by example. Perhaps they take young players under their wing and help them develop. They’re probably the kind of guys who will show up as managers in a few years.

It makes sense that guys in their mid-to-late thirties would be good candidates to help younger players along. We often think of players in terms of their baseball life cycles, as they go from prospects at 20 to rookies at 24 to their prime at 27 to their decline at 31 and their eventual retirement. But of course, they are also living another life cycle that we rarely talk about. They are … people. At age 35, we hope that a player is only a third of the way through his actual life, but he’s also at an interesting point in his development as a person, especially compared to the guy who is 25.

Read the full article here (subscription required):

Originally published: September 3, 2015. Last Updated: September 3, 2015.