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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jason Repko loses fire, walks away from baseball

The Repko is gone
but he’s not forgotten
This is the story
of a 71 OPS+ (rotten)

Jason Repko lost something in the offseason. He knew it. He felt it.

An outfielder for 14 seasons in professional baseball, including seven seasons spent in the majors, he lost the desire to be on the field every single day.

But he still wanted to feel that way. That’s the thing. He wanted to feel that fire again. So even when no organization offered him an invitation to spring training, he felt like he needed to try the Atlantic League. A friend, Brett Tomko, phoned in the offseason, and they played together for York. Repko thought that would help.

Give it some time, he kept telling himself.

Almost a month into the season, Repko knew he had a decision to make.

“I came here hoping to get that feeling back in my heart ... but I had a hard time getting that desire to be here every day,” Repko said Monday, a day after retiring from playing baseball.

...He batted .253 in 24 games and didn’t miss a single one. Even after telling Mason he would retire, he showed up for optional batting practice. He made a sliding catch in the outfield. He threw out a runner at home. He shook his head on strike calls that he believed didn’t go over the plate. And this was all in the last week of his career. The majors weren’t calling him back. Still, he had to go all out.

Before he came to York, he explained why he crashed into walls instead of letting up and allowing the ball to drop—even though he knew catching the ball might mean he would be injured. He had to put everything he had into baseball. He was the answer to that old rock-and-roll refrain, it’s better to burn out than fade away. When that desire was gone, he felt like he too had to leave.

Repoz Posted: May 15, 2013 at 05:34 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, history, red sox, twins

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   1. Cris E Posted: May 15, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4443410)
I'm happy Repko is going out on his terms. It sort of feels like one of those rare funerals that's actually more of a celebration of the life rather than a mourning for the end of one. He sounds ready to go home and hang out with his kids.

Of course that'll make it all the worse when he comes back to the game in Feb 2015 looking for one more fix, but I hope he resists that and really does move on.
   2. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4443415)
The fact that Repko needed Tomko for help is the best part about this story.
   3. smileyy Posted: May 15, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4443456)
I'm happy Repko is going out on his terms.


Is he? I doubt he'd be retiring if a MLB team wanted him.
   4. Guapo Posted: May 15, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4443469)
He shook his head on strike calls that he believed didn’t go over the plate. And this was all in the last week of his career. The majors weren’t calling him back. Still, he had to go all out.


All-out head-shaking? Now that's TRUE GRIT.

I would love to see a montage of Jason Repko shaking his head on called strike calls set to "Eye of the Tiger."
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 15, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4443472)
Gotta be tough for a guy like Repko. He never made big money (just over $2M career earnings, per BRef) so he's got to find a whole new career. He's also probably seen guys not that much better than him cash in on $20M+ paydays.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4443823)
Gotta be tough for a guy like Repko. He never made big money (just over $2M career earnings, per BRef)


"Tough" and "big" being, of course, relative terms.
   7. Steve Treder Posted: May 15, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4443829)
The fact that Repko needed Tomko for help is the best part about this story.

Yes, and I'm wondering how Steve Renko, Mike Royko, and Gordon Gekko are involved.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 15, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4443834)
"Tough" and "big" being, of course, relative terms.

Well, yes.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4443836)
He should have gone to Andy Pafko for the old-timer's perspective.
   10. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4443850)
Koko B. Ware was a bit upset he didn't get a call.
   11. gef the talking mongoose, amorphous lefty blob Posted: May 15, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4443865)
Eddie Kasko is still alive, I see. He'd listen if Repko called.
   12. Bote Man Posted: May 15, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4444241)
Can't Jedd Gyorko get a little love up in here?
   13. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: May 15, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4444244)
Mobutu Sese Seko can't.
   14. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: May 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4444774)
Yes, and I'm wondering how Steve Renko, Mike Royko, and Gordon Gekko are involved


Paul Konerko knows.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4444786)

Yes, and I'm wondering how Steve Renko, Mike Royko, and Gordon Gekko are involved


They all got together with Andy Sisco to watch "Sgt. Bilko."
   16. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 16, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4444797)
It's ok, in retirement he's going to get into the music industry with Sisqo.

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