View Full Version : Sean Casey Retires

01-20-2009, 02:47 AM
From the Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, Mass...

The Mayor not seeking re-election
On Pro Baseball
Bill Burt
January 16, 2009 03:53 am

Former Red Sox backup first baseman Sean Casey says he is about two weeks away from the inevitable.

As Casey spoke via phone from his Pittsburgh home, his 5-year-old son Jacob was making noise in the background. Family comes first with Casey.

"Unless there is an offer that blows me away, I will be retiring," said the 34-year-old Casey, who with wife Mandi has three children, ages 7, 5 and 3.

"And I'm not talking about money as I am the opportunity to play a lot more. It's time to be around the family more. It would be too difficult to go another city, move the family and be just a part-time player. My family is ready to be in one place."

Casey, though, isn't complaining about his final year as a role player with the Red Sox. To the contrary.

"I'm so glad that I came to Boston," said Casey, who hit .322 with 17 RBIs in 199 at-bats last year. "It was everything I thought it would be and more. There is no other place in baseball that has the feeling of Fenway Park every night.

"It seemed we were winning every night. I got to step in a few times to really help out whether it was backing up (Kevin Youkilis) or filling in when Mike Lowell got hurt. The tough part about playing part-time, for me, was you never get in a true rhythm. Coming off bench is not easy. But I enjoyed every second I was there."

One of the fringe benefits of being here was that he saw one of his best friends, Fr. Paul O'Brien, pastor at St. Patrick's Church in Lawrence, regularly. It was a friendship that started when he was a collegian playing in the famed Cape Cod League and they met at a grocery store.

In fact, Casey got Fr. O'Brien, who oversaw his marriage and baptized all three of his children, to run periodic prayer services at Fenway Park for some of the players.

"That meant a lot to me and some of the guys," said Casey. "Guys were really thankful and appreciative of that."

Among his favorite experiences in a Red Sox uniform, the trip to Japan, as difficult as the travel and stiff neck he suffered was, is right near the top.

But No. 1 was no doubt being in the dugout for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox were down in the series, 3-1, and trailing that game 7-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Red Sox scored four runs in the seventh, three more in the eighth to tie it, and won it in the ninth, when J.D. Drew's two-out single knocked in Youkilis.

The irony is Casey struck out swinging on four pitches in the eighth inning and the Sox trailing, 7-6. But he was the first one at home plate to hug Youkilis when he scored the game-winner.

"Just being able to share that with 25 guys in clubhouse," said Casey, "is a memory I will take with me the rest of my life."

He also got to experience "Manny being Manny" up close and personal.

"I remember being told that, 'You're going to see Manny do something,' " said Casey. "Well, it did happen (when Manny was saying he was injured and asked to be traded in July), which was a crazy few weeks in Boston. But looking back, Manny was a great guy, man to man. But then it got crazy."

Casey said he got a new-found respect for left-handed batters at Fenway Park.

"Fenway is not a lefty-friendly park for power hitters," said Casey. "I didn't realize that as a visiting player. But it is hard to hit them out in right field. At one point, I remember going up to David (Ortiz) and saying how amazing he really is to hit 50 home runs in a season, playing here."

Casey said he would be remiss not to mention the experience he had watching a Rookie of the Year become a Most Valuable Player.

"Dustin Pedroia is one of the greatest teammates I ever played with, and I've played with some great ones," said Casey. "That's the ultimate compliment, being a great teammate. He's one of the hungriest players I've ever seen. He only wants to win. I will always root for Dustin."

Another benefit was becoming a Boston Celtics fan, especially when he was on the disabled list and didn't travel with a team for a few weeks. He attended a few Celtics games and saw the same craziness he saw at Fenway Park.

"I got caught up in it a few times," said Casey. "That was an amazing run (the Celtics) were on. The Garden was electric."

While the Red Sox chose to go in another direction with Casey, opting to sign Mark Kotsay as Youkilis' backup, he holds nothing against the franchise.

"Are you kidding me? The Red Sox know how to treat a player. Everything they do, from the top on down, is professional," said Casey. "I saw the John Smoltz press conference. He said everything I've said all year. The Red Sox do it right. Theo Epstein has a plan and he carries it out. Everyone is on the same page. And everything is first class."

The 12-year veteran's shining moment was in 2006 with the Detroit Tigers. He went 9 for 15 (2 HRs, 5 RBIs) over the last four games against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

"As I was rounding the bases after hitting the home run against (Jeff) Suppan, all I could think of was my dream had come true," said Casey. "I was remembering playing Wiffle Ball in the yard, imagining that I was hitting a home run in the World Series. I'll never forget that."

If Casey has played his last game, his career unofficially ended last week in Boston when the Boston Baseball Writers honored him with its annual Tommy McCarthy "Good Guy Award."

"I can't tell you how proud I was to get that from the writers," said Casey. "What a great day that was. They didn't have to do that. But it was perfect way to end it. I will always be able to say I played for the Boston Red Sox and had a ball doing it."

E-mail Bill Burt at bburt@eagletribune.com.

01-20-2009, 05:42 AM
One of the best guys in all of baseball. We're better having been able to watch him play here in Cincy! Enjoy your retirement, SC!

Chip R
01-20-2009, 09:44 AM
In a different year, Sean would probably still have a job.

The good news, for Reds fans, is that Sean has no affiliation with another team so he can do the ex-Red thing. He'll probably be elected into the Reds HOF on his first year of eligibility and he'll probably be at Reds Fest every year.

01-20-2009, 09:52 AM
In a different year, Sean would probably still have a job.

The good news, for Reds fans, is that Sean has no affiliation with another team so he can do the ex-Red thing. He'll probably be elected into the Reds HOF on his first year of eligibility and he'll probably be at Reds Fest every year.

I would be on the phone inviting him to Spring Training right now. It might be a little early since he still wants to play, but I still make the call. I also wouldn't mind him as the pinch hitter off the bench. I think he would do that in Cincinnati without hesitation. Sean Casey will always be one of my favorite players.

I wonder if he hugged Manny when he met him?

01-20-2009, 10:45 AM
Great guy, kind of an odd career. I never thought he was going to be a star or anything, but if you would have asked me about Casey in 1999, I would have told you that I thought he'd be the type of guy that would play at a fairly high level until he was 40. I saw him as a poor man's Tony Gwynn--- someone who could hit .300 in his sleep and always hold down a roster spot.

But he dipped a bit more than I would have guessed. Still, he's had a very nice career, and as everyone knows, he's left a positive personal mark everywhere he goes and with everyone he meets. I'm sure he will do well whatever path he chooses from here.

01-20-2009, 10:48 AM
I would be on the phone inviting him to Spring Training right now. It might be a little early since he still wants to play, but I still make the call. I also wouldn't mind him as the pinch hitter off the bench. I think he would do that in Cincinnati without hesitation. Sean Casey will always be one of my favorite players.

No. Under no circumstances whatsoever. Joey Votto is our first baseman and I don't want to hear Marty/Lance/the cavalcade of Casey friends in the media calling for Votto to be benched the first time he goes into a slump.

Casey seems like one of the all-time class acts, but to bring back a guy with his reputation and contacts in this town to play behind a second-year player would be madness, in my opinion.

Caveat Emperor
01-20-2009, 12:46 PM
Sean Casey -- by EVERY account I've ever read, one of the nicest and most genuine people in any walk of life.

Beyond what you read about, there was another side of Sean Casey even more generous and kind than his public persona. One of my favorite of those stories goes (according to the source I heard it from, who would have reason to know and no reason to fabricate) that Casey received a letter at the clubhouse from a person in central Ohio who was helping to raise money to help a huge Reds fan pay for a parents funeral. They asked if Casey would sign a jersey or a hat or something that they had provided so that it could be auctioned off to help.

Casey called the person back and offered to just pay for the funeral expenses out of his own pocket. They turned down the request, saying it was too generous and they coudn't accept. So, instead, Casey called up a local store (personally) and arranged to do an autograph signing there with proceeds going to this fund. He then drove up to the town, sat and signed autographs all day, and raised all the money needed for the funeral.

I don't know that the story ever made the rounds in the media (I had never heard it until it was told to me a while ago), but it was just one example of the things Casey did that went completely unnoticed by anyone other than Sean and the people he helped.

01-20-2009, 12:55 PM
Bring back Dave Burba. LOL.... Just kidding. Casey was one of my favorite players. He was part of that special 99 team. Can't believe he is that old already. He will be missed.

Blitz Dorsey
01-20-2009, 01:30 PM
I thought the end was very near for him, but figured he'd play one more year. But when you've got that much money in the bank, a beautiful family, ain't nothing wrong with retiring at 34 and just enjoying your life. If we all were so fortunate.

One of the all-time great guys and he had a few pretty good years with the Reds. I'll always hope the best for Sean Casey.

01-20-2009, 01:43 PM
I have heard several people making calls on the radio recently for the Reds to bring back Casey. The always say as a pinch hitter/bench guy. I always want to bash my head against the wall. Pinch Hitters like him are anchors on a team, he can only play one position, and unless you use him with RISP he is of little value as a pinch hitter, because you have to pinch run for him.

On second thought, the Reds could sign Casey, Start Dickerson in Center everyday, and have Taveras pinch run for Casey. Brilliant! Bring me a Guinness......

01-20-2009, 06:20 PM
I always liked the guy. He was a rather exciting player for a couple of years and probably one of the more popular players when he was with the Reds. I know my dad ceased being a fan when they traded him, he was so angry. I'll never forget a couple of his dives over over the tarp for a foul-ball out.
Of course, then there was that thing where he was thrown out at first by Whitesox left fielder Pablo Ozuna.

01-20-2009, 07:22 PM
Sean Casey's career

23 10 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 200 333 200
24 302 44 82 21 1 7 52 43 45 1 1 272 365 417
25 594 103 197 42 3 25 99 61 88 0 2 332 399 539
26 480 69 151 33 2 20 85 52 80 1 0 315 385 517
27 533 69 165 40 0 13 89 43 63 3 1 310 369 458
28 425 56 111 25 0 6 42 43 47 2 1 261 334 362
29 573 71 167 19 3 14 80 51 58 4 0 291 350 408
30 571 101 185 44 2 24 99 46 36 2 0 324 381 534
31 529 75 165 32 0 9 58 48 48 2 0 312 371 423
32 397 47 108 22 0 8 59 33 43 0 1 272 332 388
33 453 40 134 30 1 4 54 39 42 2 2 296 353 393
34 199 14 64 14 0 0 17 17 25 1 0 322 381 392
Career 5066 690 1531 322 12 130 735 477 577 18 8 302 367 447
Average 584 80 176 37 1 15 85 55 67 2 1 302 367 447

01-20-2009, 08:00 PM
Sean Casey's career

23 10 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 200 333 200
24 302 44 82 21 1 7 52 43 45 1 1 272 365 417
25 594 103 197 42 3 25 99 61 88 0 2 332 399 539
26 480 69 151 33 2 20 85 52 80 1 0 315 385 517
27 533 69 165 40 0 13 89 43 63 3 1 310 369 458
28 425 56 111 25 0 6 42 43 47 2 1 261 334 362
29 573 71 167 19 3 14 80 51 58 4 0 291 350 408
30 571 101 185 44 2 24 99 46 36 2 0 324 381 534
31 529 75 165 32 0 9 58 48 48 2 0 312 371 423
32 397 47 108 22 0 8 59 33 43 0 1 272 332 388
33 453 40 134 30 1 4 54 39 42 2 2 296 353 393
34 199 14 64 14 0 0 17 17 25 1 0 322 381 392
Career 5066 690 1531 322 12 130 735 477 577 18 8 302 367 447
Average 584 80 176 37 1 15 85 55 67 2 1 302 367 447

Not a bad career for the mayor. He's a good guy and was a pretty darn good hitter.

01-20-2009, 08:16 PM
Wow--he averaged two steals/year! Wouldn't have bet on that one.

01-20-2009, 08:22 PM
And Sean Casey's career salary numbers, per Baseball-Reference.com:

1998 Cincinnati Reds $175,000
1999 Cincinnati Reds $220,000
2000 Cincinnati Reds $400,000
2001 Cincinnati Reds $3,000,000
2002 Cincinnati Reds $4,000,000
2003 Cincinnati Reds $5,600,000
2004 Cincinnati Reds $6,800,000
2005 Cincinnati Reds $7,800,000
2006 Pittsburgh Pirates $8,500,000
2007 Detroit Tigers $4,000,000
2008 Boston Red Sox $800,000

Career (may be incomplete) $41,295,000

Salary Data courtesy Doug Pappas, member of SABR.
Salaries for mid-season call-ups or traded players may not be shown

It looks like he can afford to retire at age 34... lol.

01-20-2009, 08:37 PM
I wonder if he hugged Manny when he met him?
He got his first major league hit with one of Manny's bats.

01-21-2009, 12:14 AM
He is a great guy and I am glad that I had the chance to watch his career exspecially when he was with the Reds.LOL everytime he came to bat and do that routine over and over after every pitch that would drive my Dad nuts.He would say Casey would bat 400 if he would'nt do all that moving around fixing his gloves,helmet,then rub his jersey lol.

Then later on Casey went to the Pirates DADS team:D

01-25-2009, 12:22 AM
per mlb:

Sean Casey Retires
By D.J. Blatter [January 24 at 10:23pm CST]

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has reported that Sean Casey has signed on with the MLB Network, making his retirement official.

Casey, 34, hit .322/.381/.392 in 218 plate appearances for the Red Sox in 2008. Casey finishes his career with a .302 lifetime batting average.

thanks Sean for the memories.. still wish he played one more year off the bench for the Reds..

01-25-2009, 01:56 AM
Check Casey out as he "interviews" Big Papi


01-25-2009, 01:57 AM
If that doesn't work click here.


01-25-2009, 08:50 AM
Clearly Sean's best work as a Red came here...


01-25-2009, 12:26 PM
Casey plans to retire, join MLB Network
'The Mayor' hit .302 in 12 seasons with five different clubs

By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com

Red Sox first baseman Sean Casey is officially retiring, according to a report by WEEI.com in Boston.

The report said Casey, nicknamed "The Mayor" for his friendly personality, has signed on with the MLB Network for role that has not been defined yet.

Casey, 34, hit .322 in 199 at-bats for the Red Sox last season. He also played in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, but spent eight of his 12 big league seasons with the Reds.

A three-time All-Star, Casey had a .302 career average with 130 homers and 735 RBIs.

The MLB Network launched on Jan. 1 in approximately 50 million homes, the largest network debut in cable history. Casey would join former Major Leaguers Harold Reynolds, Al Leiter, Barry Larkin, Joe Magrane, Mitch Williams and Dan Plesac to offer insight on the Network.


01-25-2009, 01:39 PM
I would've rather had him as a bench guy than Norris Hopper.

Hopefully, he'll rejoin the Reds later as a coach in some capacity. He'd be a great person to have around.

01-27-2009, 01:32 PM
Talking to Casey
Posted by JohnFay at 1/27/2009 1:18 PM EST on Cincinnati.com

Sean Casey, as expected had a lot of good things to say about Cincinnati. He's a bit of what he said on his conference call:

--"The whole 1999 season was special. It still bugs me to this day, having a two-game lead with three to play, then getting two-hit by Al Lieter in that one game playoff."

--"Cincinnati still feels like home to me. I spent eight years there. Coming back last year with Boston and getting a standing ovation and getting a chance to tip my hat. Being so involved Kim Nuxhall and community. Getting to know Joe (Nuxhall). I feel like I was so much a part of the community there. The fans made me feel special."

--"That first Opening Day in Cincinnati after I got traded over from Cleveland was great."

Casey's decision to retire came to family. He could have played again this season. "I didn't have anything concrete. But I had a chance to play in that same role I was in last year. But I wanted to have more time with my kids.


01-27-2009, 06:49 PM
Casey joins MLB Network team
Former infielder trades in bat for gig with fledgling channel

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

Sean Casey retired from Major League Baseball on Tuesday and joined MLB Network as a studio analyst.

Casey, a three-time All-Star first baseman and designated hitter, ended a 12-year career that began in 1997 with Cleveland and concluded last year in Boston, with its biggest chunk an eight-year run in Cincinnati.

Casey joins an on-air crew of baseball analysts that includes a plethora of former players, including Harold Reynolds, Barry Larkin, Al Leiter, Joe Magrane, Dan Plesac and Mitch Williams. He'll be a regular on the one-hour "Hot Stove" show that will give way to the eight-hour nightly "MLB Tonight" once the regular season starts.

"It's weird. I kind of feel like I'm not really retiring but I'm really moving on to a new stage of my life," Casey said during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. "MLB Network really gave me an opportunity to stay in the game and be able to spend more time with my family. That's the big thing for me. It was time to really be home more."

Casey, just 34, like Larkin, joins the Network with no previous broadcast experience. He was widely considered to be a great ambassador for the game of baseball and one of the most accessible players during his time in uniform.

Tony Petitti, the Network's president and chief executive, called Casey, "the friendliest player in baseball." And he wasn't far off the mark. During the call, several veteran baseball writers lauded Casey for giving his time so readily to the media during a career in which he batted .302 with 130 homers and 735 RBIs.

Casey, as a member of the Tigers, hit two homers during their five-game 2007 World Series loss to the Cardinals and called that one of the highlights of his career.

"I was raised by mom and dad to treat people the way I want to be treated," Casey said. "That was a big thing for me throughout my life, not just baseball."

Casey, one of more than 100 still outstanding free agents this offseason, said he had some talks about returning to the Red Sox in 2009, but that possibility seemed to disappear when the Sox instead re-signed free agent Mark Kotsay, who will be utilized in a utility role in the outfield and at first base.

Casey played only one year in Boston, where he batted .322 with no homers and 17 RBIs in 69 games.

"That was one of my favorite years," he said. "Just being part of that team was unbelievable. The tough part about this for me was that baseball has been so good to me. It was everything I thought it would be and more. My agent had talked to some teams and nothing was in concrete yet. I think I could have definitely played [this] year and being back in that role coming off the bench. But weighing my options with my family, I decided I just wanted to stay home more."

Casey was a big cog on the Reds with Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn, who, ironically, are still currently unsigned free agents. In 2005, the last year the trio played together, they combined for 89 home runs.

Casey joins a growing list of free agents who've retired since the end of the season, including Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina and Dodgers pitcher Greg Maddux, and Los Angeles second baseman Jeff Kent.


There will be plenty of Reds flavor on the MLB Network with both Casey and Larkin being regulars...

01-27-2009, 06:52 PM
Casey officially announces retirement
Former Red was fan favorite in Cincinnati, will be seen on MLB Network

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Sean Casey could probably cruise around Greater Cincinnati well into his later years and never pay for a meal again. After all, he was and will always be "The Mayor" to the Reds fans he forged a tight bond with.

Even three years removed from being traded away, people in Cincinnati continually held out hope Casey would somehow return to play first base for the Reds again at Great American Ball Park.

Casey, who spent eight years with the Reds from 1998-2005, officially put the kibosh on those hopes on Tuesday when he retired from the Major Leagues after 12 seasons at the young age of 34. He accepted a role to be an on-air talent for the new MLB Network.

"Being part of that community was a big thing for me," Casey said of Cincinnati. "Being there for eight years, I almost felt like I lived there and also part of the community. I played there and it was just a great thing. I have so many great memories.

"Just the way the fans treated me there, I really felt special in that city with the relationship I had with the fans."

Among those on-field memories was his first Opening Day with the Reds in 1998 and appearing in three All-Star Games. The 1999 season was also a big positive, except for the disappointing finish. The Reds wound up tied with the Mets for the Wild Card spot and lost a one-game playoff at Cinergy Field.

"It still kind of bugs me to this day that we had a two-game lead with three to play and we couldn't pull that off," said Casey, who was acquired from the Indians in a trade for pitcher Dave Burba on March 30, 1998. "It drives me crazy."

At MLB Network, Casey will be working alongside former pitcher Al Leiter, who threw the two-hit shutout that did in the Reds on that frigid October night. Another former Reds star, Barry Larkin, also works for the network.

Voted the "friendliest player in baseball" in a Sports Illustrated players poll in 2007 and a two-time Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award winner by writers in Cincinnati, Casey had off-the-field endeavors that helped the community. He worked with Nuxhall's character education program and also with Lighthouse Youth Services.

Casey was called "The Mayor" because of his outgoing personality. There was rarely an autograph he didn't sign or a conversation he didn't engage in. Inside the clubhouse, he was known for always being accessible to fellow players and media.

"I was raised and my dad always said, 'Treat people how you want to be treated,'" Casey said. "That was the big thing for me throughout my life, not just baseball. It means a lot to me if I'm looked at as a good guy or nice guy in the game and I was also a pretty good player. It's a pretty combination that I'm proud of. I'm proud of the way I was with teammates as much as I was from what I did on the field."

Between the lines, Casey walks away with some sound career numbers. He owns a lifetime .302 average with 130 home runs and 735 RBIs for the Indians, Reds, Pirates, Tigers and Red Sox. His final season was spent as a role player in Boston, where he batted .322 in 69 games.

On Dec. 8, 2005, the Reds and former general manager Dan O'Brien made the unpopular decision to trade Casey and his $8.5 million salary to the Pirates for lefty starter Dave Williams. The backlash at the time was strong and only intensified after Williams was moved by Cincinnati in May of the 2006 season after not working out.

Fans regularly e-mailed, blogged or took to local airwaves to lobby for a Casey return since the day of the trade. But the final memory both player and fans will have of him at Great American Ball Park will be in a Red Sox uniform when the Reds hosted Boston last June.

"My time in Cincinnati -- I still feel like it's home," Casey said. "Eight years there, especially coming back this year with Boston and when I got that first at-bat and got the ovation. That was a moment for me. Getting traded and not being able to say goodbye to those fans was a weird time for me."

Did Casey, who looked at some limited offers from around the league to still play during the offseason, want to come back to the Reds as much as the fans wanted him to?

"Yeah, I would have loved to play in Cincinnati again, but not to back up or at the expense of Joey Votto not playing," Casey said. "At this stage, he's the better player."

Casey ultimately cited the desire to be with his family, including his three children, as the reason for moving from the game into television.

"Our ratings in Cincinnati will be a lot higher," joked Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network of Casey's hiring.

A native of the Pittsburgh suburbs, Casey managed to become entrenched with Cincinnati in a way only a handful of players have. In retirement, he wanted to keep those roots growing.

"I hope to get back in a relationship with the Reds and be with them in some capacity," Casey said. "I have nothing but fond memories of Cincinnati and that organization."