Matt Stairs Retires

CBC News:

Matt Stairs, New Brunswick’s biggest baseball star, is ready to retire after almost two decades playing in Major League Baseball.

Stairs, 43, hasn’t made the official announcement yet but he told CBC News in an interview on Wednesday that his playing days are now done.

“I’m not sad. I had a great career, a long career,” Stairs said.

“And it’s one of those things where I can walk away today and not be sad about it.”

Stairs played for 13 different teams, a Major League record. He made a name for himself in the late 1990’s with the Oakland A’s and reached the post-season on four different occasions with three teams. The highlight of his career is, undoubtedly, the two-run home run he hit off of Jonathan Broxton in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS. The homer broke a 5-5 tie and helped propel the Phillies to the World Series, which they eventually won.

Watch the full video here.

Stairs was a mercenary throughout the past decade, but all it took was one swing to make himself an important figure in Phillies history. Perhaps most impressively, he made Joe Buck sound vaguely human if for one brief moment.

He may not have been in Philly for long, but he is deserving of a toast as he hangs up his spikes. Here’s to you, Matt Stairs.

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20 comments

  1. soundofphilly

    August 03, 2011 05:49 PM

    That Matt Stairs HR is one of my favorite moments in Phillies history.

    The following night at Dodger Stadium, the local fans were FUCKLEN DEPRESSED. Then Coal clapped them up.

  2. Dave P

    August 03, 2011 06:01 PM

    Hands down my favorite moment in Phillies history. Going into that inning I was already cursing that the series would be 2-2 after the Phils jumped to the 2-0 lead. When the count got to 3-1 you knew a fastball was coming and Stairs if nothing else could take a big swing. When he CRUSHED that pitch I went from my normally pessimistic outlook to “holy s*** this team is winning the world series.”

  3. bptess

    August 03, 2011 06:15 PM

    “Stairs rips one into the night!”

  4. Tom

    August 03, 2011 06:37 PM

    produced literally the only half decent joe buck call

  5. windbag

    August 03, 2011 07:15 PM

    Will never forget being at Chavez Ravine and watching this blast. I told my friend, a Dodger fan, why are the Dodgers letting Broxton face a guy who only hits fastballs?

    And the stadium was so quiet when Victorino hit his homer. So many people and barely any noise. Weird.

    And most importantly, it was my son’s first Phillies game. He was 2.

  6. bob

    August 03, 2011 07:42 PM

    Hey Bill—

    Do you happen to know the ratio of fastball: offspeed stuff to Howard pre and post hunter pence? thanks.

  7. jauer

    August 03, 2011 08:43 PM

    I was wondering the same question bob had; if it is possible to find fastballs/PA anywhere

  8. Dukes

    August 03, 2011 08:52 PM

    Bill, something I’d for you to do an article on…Hallday’s consistant greatness but lack of dominance. Is it just me or has he had a trillion base runners on base this year, has not pitcheded a shutout, but still leads the league in ERA. Is it luck?

  9. Bill Baer

    August 03, 2011 08:59 PM

    Re: Howard/fastballs

    1) Lineup protection is a myth. Just putting that out there first and foremost. Every study that’s ever been done has shown no sign of lineup protection at all or so-called “protection” actually harming the protected hitter.

    2) Pence has only been in the lineup for a few games. Ideally, we would need to wait until at least the end of the month before we could even start to make inferences.

    @ Dukes

    Halladay’s strand rate is 78.2%, which is above his career average 73.5%, but is also partially explained by his increased strikeout rate. His K/9 this year is 8.3; his career average K/9 is 6.8.

    As for overall base runners, his WHIP is 1.01, his lowest since 2005.

    I would go as far as to say 2011 is the most dominant year of Halladay’s career.

  10. Josh G

    August 03, 2011 09:35 PM

    Matt Stairs,
    Thanks for a great moment in Phillies history. As long as I’m a phan I will always remember where I was and who I was with when you hit that “shot into the night.”

  11. TMC

    August 03, 2011 09:52 PM

    Like everyone else, I count the Stair homerun as one of the great moments in my history as a Philly sports fan. But I also loved the next year when he faced Broxton again in the LCS, and Broxton was so obviously terrified to pitch to him, setting up Jimmy’s game-winning hit.

  12. jauer

    August 03, 2011 10:22 PM

    I know it’s a myth…but if you say that to the “average” fan at the end of September, they will say that Howard’s case is the exception.

  13. hk

    August 04, 2011 05:39 AM

    The best thing about Pence’s acquisition is not that the Phils have Pence in the 5-hole “protecting” Howard, it’s that the Phils now have a MLB quality hitter in the 2-hole. It doesn’t make sense that teams would pitch Howard differently with Pence hitting behind him than they would pitch him with Victorino hitting behind him.

  14. LTG

    August 04, 2011 08:03 AM

    “The best thing about Pence’s acquisition is not that the Phils have Pence in the 5-hole “protecting” Howard, it’s that the Phils now have a MLB quality hitter in the 2-hole. It doesn’t make sense that teams would pitch Howard differently with Pence hitting behind him than they would pitch him with Victorino hitting behind him.”

    This.

  15. Scotch Man

    August 04, 2011 08:28 AM

    I’m definately watching Game 4 of the ’08 NLCS sometime today. What an incredible moment that was. To me that was the highlight of the whole thing. It was the game where I was sure the Phils were winning the whole thing after it was over.

    Stairs was such a nice addition. Sure, he was well past his prime. His numbers as a Phillie were lousy. But I could never utter a single bad word about the guy. He came through in the moment when it was most important. It was one of the great home runs I’ve ever seen. Just an incredible moment.

  16. Ajay

    August 04, 2011 09:19 AM

    Just this: Thank you Matt Stairs!

  17. Tim

    August 04, 2011 09:59 AM

    Stairs has a really interesting b-r page: www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/stairma01.shtml

    I love the loooong line of numbers/team logo things. And sticking around MLB for 19 seasosn, not to mention posting a 117 OPS+ is a real accomplishment. I also love how he’s at 9.9 wins below replacement for dWAR. I wish I could see where that fell on the all-time list, but b-r’s leader board for dWAR doesn’t go into the negatives.

    But obviously the best part is his slash line for the 2008 NLCS: 1.000/1.000/4.000

  18. Suzie

    August 04, 2011 12:57 PM

    Stairs’ homerun against Broxton was absolutely a great momement! I’m glad I had the opportunity to watch it and to meet Matt when he came to Winners Circle in Edgemont. Thanks Matt!

  19. Mike

    August 04, 2011 02:08 PM

    God Bless, Fat Stairs…..

  20. Brandon

    August 07, 2011 09:22 PM

    Bill, thank you for saying that ‘protection’ doesn’t exist. It bothers me every time I see MLBN or ESPN say Howard is doing better because Pence is protecting him. In fact, Victorino has been pretty awesome this year hitting 5.

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