In each of the past two offseasons, Jermaine Dye expressed frustration that no team would offer him a contract that he deemed suitable.
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But Dye, upon informing FOXSports.com of his retirement Thursday, said he was “at peace” with his decision to end his career at age 37.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” Dye said. “It’s unfortunate the way it ended. But I went out on my terms.
“I guess I could have signed a minor-league deal. But I didn’t get any offers this year. With the last year I had (with the White Sox in 2009), I’m happy. I’m at peace with it.”
Dye had 27 home runs, 81 RBIs and a .793 OPS in his final season with the White Sox. The Cubs and Brewers made him major-league offers that winter, but his age, poor second half and declining defense in right field limited his market.
The Dodgers expressed interest in Dye this past winter, but were willing to offer him only a minor-league contract. The team ended up signing another right-handed hitter, Marcus Thames, to a one-year, $1 million major-league deal.
“It’s time to start my second life,” said Dye, who lives in Phoenix with his wife, Tricia, and children Jalen, 10, Devin, 9 and Tiara, 6. “I’m enjoying my family, watching my kids grow up, teaching them the right way to grow up.
“No doubt, I had a great run, a great career. I’m happy with all my accomplishments. I played on some great teams, won a World Series. Not a lot of people get a chance to say that.”
Dye finished with 325 home runs and a .274/.338/.488 batting line. He was a two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner in 2000 and a Silver Slugger winner in ’06. He also was the MVP of the 2005 World Series, in which the White Sox swept the Astros.
His fondest memories?
“I actually have two,” Dye said. “My first at-bat in the big leagues, I hit a home run (for the Braves off the Reds’ Marcus Moore on May 17, 1996). Just running around the bases and getting to the dugout seeing Bobby Cox and David Justice on the top step, giving them a hug. The second would be my base hit up the middle, Game 4, to win the World Series.
“You’re always going to miss the guys in the clubhouse. Some of my best memories were of spending time with them, becoming a family for seven to eight months during the season, including spring training. Being around the guys, being in the clubhouse, listening to a lot of guys’ stories.
“I met a lot of great people. I was coached by really good managers throughout my career, great hitting coaches. My dad stayed in the game with me, became my second hitting coach. I’m happy he was around to see me start and finish my career. My mom, all those days in Little League getting me to practice. It paid off.”
For now, Dye said he plans “to take it easy” and work on some outside business ventures that he declined to discuss. But he said that he is “sure” that he will someday be back in the game.
“Who knows?” Dye said. “Maybe I’ll win another World Series either on a coaching staff or in someone’s front office.”