Jeremy Guthrie, retired worse than the hard way

Jeremy Guthrie

Guthrie, on the way to begin what proved the birthday beating that sent him to retirement in April.

Ending a professional baseball career depends on the circumstances that provoked it. You’d like to see every player go out the way that’s most comfortable for him, but you know without being told that it won’t always work like that.

We hardly begrudged men like Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz taking their bows all around the circuit, as happened when each announced the forthcoming season that would be their last. We also wondered whether it made the sting of retirement easier to bear while wondering just how far into self-congratulation those men might fall.

The former Freak just roots, stays prepared . . . and waits

Lincecum roots his Giants on and stays ready for . . .

Lincecum roots his Giants on and stays ready for . . .

Madison Bumgarner is hogging the headlines around the San Francisco Giants these days. Particularly after he dominated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game One of the National League Championship Series Saturday. (Though he got away with a rather obvious balk in the seventh that should have meant a run for the Cardinals.)

A small truckload of aces fell earlier and more often in this postseason, Clayton Kershaw especially, and Bumgarner himself out-dueled an ailing Adam Wainwright among those aces. And lurking amidst the hungering Giants is another former ace.