Perhaps more than anyone else, Mike Maroth embodied the Detroit Tigers’ three-year turnaround from last-place laughingstock to pennant winner.
In 2003, he became the only major leaguer in the last three decades to lose 20 or more games in a season. In 2006, his robust April and May helped to position the Tigers for their first World Series appearance in a generation.
Then bone chips in his left elbow forced him from a start at Kansas City. As it turned out, the southpaw’s career never was quite the same. Four years and multiple surgeries removed from his most recent appearance in the majors, Maroth told FOXSports.com on Tuesday that he has decided to retire.
“I gave it everything I had,” the 33-year-old said from his Florida home. “I feel confident that I’m making the right decision. I’d love to keep playing, but I realize that I don’t have it in me. I have no regrets. I put forth all of the effort possible to continue to play, but I believe my body just can’t do it anymore.
“I’ve given myself every opportunity to come back. It’s just to a point where it’s time to move on.”
Maroth owned a 50-67 record and 5.05 ERA in 161 games (150 starts). His final appearance in the majors came with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007, but he spent almost his entire big-league career with the Tigers. He relied on a fastball that rarely averaged more than 85 miles per hour, which made his achievements (including a one-hit victory over the Yankees in 2004) all the more noteworthy.
— Jon Paul Morosi