He played 14 years in the major leagues, hit 325 home runs, drove
in more than 1,000 runs, was a two-time All-Star, won both a Gold Glove and
Silver Slugger award and was a World Series MVP. But after a sub-par second
half in 2009, he found himself out of baseball last year and, with no offers
for 2011, it looks like his career is over.
This is the curious case of Jermaine Dye, who was such an
important part of the White Sox for five seasons, including the World Champions
in 2005 when he was named the Most Valuable Player in the Fall Classic. And his
performance the following year was certainly one of the finest single seasons
in the club’s history when he pounded out 44 homers along with 120 RBIs, a .315
batting average and a 1.006 OPS.
The truth of the matter is that Dye could have played last year,
but he decided the offers weren’t worth it. It has been reported that there was
some interest in him this offseason, but nothing materialized. Now, the
slugger’s career may have come to an end.
“I would still like to play, but I think my choices have
passed and teams have gone with other people,” Dye recently told
FoxSports.com. “I will continue to stay in shape and hopefully someone
will call. If nothing gets done by the end of the spring, I may call it a
This is obviously not the way any major leaguer would like to
end his baseball life, especially a player with the resume of Dye. In part, he
is responsible for his own fate. He decided not to take the offers prior to the
2010 season and it is apparent that the year off was a huge negative as teams
considered him for ’11. But give him credit for sticking to his guns.
Apart from the fact that everybody associated with the ’05 Sox
will have a special place in my Hall of Honor, Dye was special. He was a quiet
leader, who spoke with his performance on the field. You hardly heard him talk,
but his actions were a positive example for his teammates. Frankly, the world
of sports needs more like him.
So, if this is indeed the end of the big league career of
Jermaine Dye, it’s baseball’s loss. He won’t go down as one of the all-time
greats, won’t enjoy a ceremony in Cooperstown, but he had a significant impact
just being himself–as an outstanding ballplayer, quiet leader and quality
And, personally, I will never forget his eighth inning single up
the middle in Game 4 of the ’05 Series against the Astros that scored Willie
to give the Sox a 1-0 lead and, ultimately, their first world title in 88