Ken Leighton 2 p.m., March 12
Mark Kotsay to retire at end of season
Although announced on the road, Kotsay says goodbye to local media at Petco Park
After a Major League Baseball career that lasted for 17 years, Padres outfielder Mark Kotsay will be hanging up his cleats at the end of the season. The question is if and when he might again don a uniform in the role of coach or manager for the Padres.
“Baseball is what I know, it’s what I love. As far as staying with the organization... it’s something I’ll definitely pursue,” he said in a press conference three and a half hours before Friday’s game at Petco Park. Kotsay made a general announcement on the road but held a press conference in order to answer any questions from local media.
Drafted in 1996 by the Florida Marlins, Mark played four seasons there before being traded to the Padres in 2001. In 2004 the Padres traded him to the Oakland Athletics, where he played for four seasons.
Kotsay then played for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers before signing with the Padres again as a free agent before the 2012 season. Kotsay’s role with the Padres the last two seasons has been primarily as a left-handed pinch hitter off of the bench.
Assuming he is offered and accepts a post-player role in the Padres organization, Kotsay was non-committal about whether he would want to work in the front office in some capacity or prefer to coach or manage. He said he wanted to learn more about the business side of baseball and mature into having the ability to understand organizational decisions.
When asked to ponder a snapshot that would best represent his career as a player – something he would want on his desk – Kotsay chose two. His 2006 season with the Oakland Athletics and his 2011 season with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In both seasons, his teams went to the playoffs and won the Division Series in their respective leagues only to lose in the Championship Series. “I played for seventeen years and never went to the World Series,” Kotsay reflected. “That should tell you how difficult it is to get there.”
Certainly, this is something that Padres fans can relate to.
Mark Kotsay was selected as the Padres representative for nomination of the Roberto Clemente Award of 2013. Each team nominated one player, and a panel of baseball dignitaries vote for one of the thirty nominees to be selected for the award. The fans can get involved as well. The player that receives the most votes online will receive an additional vote in the judging process. Fans can vote by accessing the appropriate section of the mlb.com website. The Roberto Clemente Award is given to the nominated player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team.