03/27/2007 11:23 AM ET
Garret Anderson: A veteran presence
Garret Anderson is the longest-tenured Angel. (Chris Carlson/AP)
Now that Tim Salmon has retired, I've been with the Angels longer than anyone else on the team. I take some pride in that.
A lot of that is out of my control, of course. For the most part, the front office decides who stays and who goes. But I'm happy I've been here my whole career. I'm happy that I haven't bounced around to a lot of different places. It's nice for a player to start his career in the same place that he ends it. I'm hoping I will be able to do that.
It was pretty cool to see all the support Tim got from the fans when he retired at the end of last season. He was here when it all began to turn around for this franchise. The Angels gave all of us young players a chance to play and he was the first one to make it. Tim put up great numbers for a long time and I was happy to see him get the respect and recognition he deserved.
But one day I'll be walking out of that door for retirement, too. It's part of the game. Sometimes you just have to cast aside the emotional aspects and accept that Major League Baseball is a business.
Seeing your teammates leave year after year is a sign that you've been in the game for a while. It was amazing we were able to keep a core group together for as long as we did. Those six or seven years we had together were fun for all of us. I only wish we would have had the pitchers that we have now back when I was coming up. We could have done some serious damage. Back then we were more of an offensive team, with some good pitching sprinkled in. Now we're a very good pitching team, too.
We'll have to see how this year's team fares. Offenses seem to take on a life of their own each season, depending on who's doing well and who's healthy. You never know what shape the offense is going to take.
Last year, I had a choice to make with my foot injury. I could have either sat on the disabled list or bitten the bullet and played in pain. I decided to play.
I thought I would be more miserable on the DL because I couldn't help the team at all on the bench. As it turned out, I was able to help the team out to some extent. There wasn't any magic cure for the foot -- all I could do was rest. But by the end of the season I got to the point where I could run like I normally would.
If you don't have your legs and feet under you, you can't play this game. I hurt a lot of other parts of my body trying to compensate for running on a bad foot, but at the end of the season I was satisfied that I was able to get through it.
As an athlete you never want to quit. I was very glad that I didn't quit and that I made it to the end of the year.
Garret Anderson has played all 13 of his Major League seasons with the Angels and is their all-time leader in games played (1760), hits (2,081) and runs batted in (1,128). Anderson is a three-time AL All-Star and collected his 2,000th career hit in 2006.