NEW YORK (AP) — Jay Bruce had seen enough. Having made the New York Yankees’ opening-day roster, he couldn’t stomach his poor start to the season.
So the three-time All-Star outfielder decided to retire at age 34 after Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.
“Just the consistent underperformance for me,” he said. “Felt like I wasn’t able to do it at a level that was acceptable for myself.”
Bruce informed Yankees manager Aaron Boone of his decision during a 20-minute meeting in the manager’s office on Friday, then made a public announcement before Sunday’s game.
Bruce went to spring training with the Yankees on a minor league contract and made the major league roster as a first baseman when Luke Voit injured a knee, earning a $1.35 million one-year deal.
He is hitting .118 with one homer and three RBIs in 39 plate appearances, and he remained active for Sunday’s game. He started the first eight games at first base but just two of the next seven.
Bruce has a .244 average with 319 homers and 951 RBIs in 14 major league seasons with Cincinnati (2008-16), the New York Mets (2016-18), Cleveland (2017), Seattle (2019), Philadelphia (2019-20) and the Yankees.
“I was so lucky to have set a standard for myself throughout my career that was frankly very good most of the time,” he said. “And I don’t feel that I’m able to do that, and I think that was the determining factor and in the decision. And I feel good about that decision and I feel thankful honestly to myself that I could be honest enough with myself to to understand that it’s time for this chapter to close.”
Bruce said his best memory was his game-ending inning homer off Houston’s Tim Byrdak in 2010 that clinched Cincinnati’s first division title since 1995.
“The weirdest part about that is…