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*official* Rob Nen retires


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Sad to see him go, when I think of the old Marlins I allways think of him and being really young and him being one of the players I remeber...he is also the only Marlin's autograph I have too.....sad for me...I allways liked to see him play, best luck to him in retirement



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Two words that caused ballplayers' knees to quake: Robb Nen.

As his fellow Giants say, "What a man, what a pitcher."


His name reverberated around the San Francisco clubhouse at Scottsdale Stadium on Sunday, and the 35-year-old Nen, the Giants' all-time leader with 206 saves, was called a true hero by player trainer Stan Conte.


Hyperbole? Not with Nen, who has retired following offseason workouts after feeling pain in his severely torn rotator cuff.


"It's disappointing we couldn't get him back out there," said Conte, who has monitored Nen's ongoing comeback attempts after he gamely pitched in the 2002 World Series despite obvious discomfort and then underwent three surgical procedures on his right shoulder.


"It was frustrating for him, because he got so close so many times but fell back to the bottom and dragged himself back up. To me, he's a consummate professional who truly left it all on the field."


That, in essence, will be Nen's legacy. He wanted a World Series title so badly -- the Giants came so close against the Angels in 2002 -- that he virtually ruined his career in attempting to pitch.


"In a way, he's a dying breed type of ballplayer. People talk about playing hurt and talk about putting themselves out, then there's the people who actually do it," added Conte. "The other thing is he didn't make a big deal out of it, go to the press and try to get publicity.


"So many people these days are trying to get headlines for being heroes, but heroes don't look for headlines, they get headlines," he said.


Nen told the San Francisco Chronicle he has no regrets about retirement or that he should have done it sooner.


"I may regret some pitches, how I pitched to somebody, but as for pitching, I'd have done things the same way now. For me, I played this game to win and go to the World Series.


"With Spring Training starting and me not being there, that's the tough part," Nen said. "When I decided a couple of weeks ago, I was kind of waiting for it after two years of rehabilitating [the shoulder], and people telling me it was not a good situation. At that point, I kind of told myself it wasn't going to happen."


Nen seemed to be making progress during his rehab efforts and was throwing off a mound in December. Then he felt that all-too-familiar twinge in his shoulder and finally admitted to himself he was done.


The hurler recorded 314 lifetime saves with a 2.98 ERA over 643 Major League games.


Giants' players will miss the man more than the pitcher.


"What he did in 2002 showed what kind of a person he was," said reliever Jason Christiansen. "If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have gone to the World Series. If it wasn't for him doing what he did [getting hurt], he'd still be pitching now. It cost him his career."


Starter Kirk Rueter, who lived side-by-side with Nen for multiple seasons, said he knew what Nen was going through in that final, fateful year.


"That was the type of guy he was -- he wasn't going to say anything publicly," said Rueter. "He wanted to pitch, he wanted the ball. I'd still pick him to go out there than most healthy guys. He was hurting, no doubt about it. No way was he going to miss the World Series."


Reliever Scott Eyre loved the guy.


"When I got to the organization in 2002 I was still young but he treated me like I'd been there forever," said Eyre. "He taught me a bunch of stuff about the game and life in general in the short time I got to play with him.


"He's gonna get mad at us for saying nice things about him," laughed Eyre. "I'll miss him. I'll still put No. 31 on my spikes out of respect. The guy was awesome. I liked Robb Nen for being Robb Nen, and he pitched for the Giants until his arm was literally hanging by a thread."


Nen never saw himself as a heroic figure. When news of his World Series efforts finally saw light, he all but blushed at the "courageous" label.


It's possible, however, that the next chapter in the Robb Nen saga could see Nen in a baseball uniform again -- this time, as a coach.




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wow thats terrible...


I'm certain that many people will miss him. He is a great pitcher and a great guy to have on your team.


I wish him the best of luck. He was a huge part of our championship team in 97. This really hurts because we had a chance at getting him back and I really wanted him back. But who knows...maybe we CAN get him back as a coach! If he comes back in uniform I hope we get him.

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I've followed Nen throughout his whole career. He played for the two teams I love.. 5 years as a Marlin and 5 years as a Giant.


He really ruined his career by pitching in the 2002 World Series in excruciating pain. Goes to show you that the Baseball Gods aren't always generous. The last game he pitched was the loss in Game 6, when he gave up the game winning double to Troy Glaus (I don't think he pitched in Game 7. Even if he did, it doesn't matter, cause Game 6 was when the Giants lost it, IMO). Would have been nice to have seen him end his career as a World Champ.

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