So long Brian Schneider, and happy trails. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Brian Schneider Era Comes to Slow-Moving Close in Philadelphia

Amidst all this negative talk of PED use, Alex Rodriguez, holier-than-thou sportswriters and negativity surrounding Ruben Amaro’s recent moves (much of it created by myself), comes word that former Phillie back-up catcher Brian Schneider has announced his retirement.

Unlike Mike Schmidt’s farewell, Brian Schneider is not announcing his departure from the game in the bowels of the San Diego Padres’ clubhouse in the middle of a long west coast trip. Instead, Schneider spoke to Mandy Housenick at The Morning Call, making sure she was the conduit to the news that is sure to shake the very foundation of the 2013 season.

It would be easy to be snarky at an announcement like this. One could easily say things like, “Geez, I didn’t know Brian Schneider was even still in the league,” but that would be unnecessarily mean.

After all, Schneider left everyone with a lot of memories from the three years he spent here in Philad…

…WAIT A MINUTE… BRIAN SCHNEIDER WAS ON THE PHILLIES FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS???… WAS ANYONE ELSE AWARE OF THIS?… WAS THIS DONE ON PURPOSE?… WAS HE LIKE A SQUATTER REFUSING TO LEAVE AN ABANDONED HOME???… WHAT GIVES???

Yes, those Schneider memories are etched in your mind forever, like tiny fragments of time that bore into your consciousness like a festering tapeworm and feel as though they’ll last forever.

Schneider explained why he was retiring, other than the .212 batting average and the .622 OPS he put up in three seasons as the Phils’ back-up catcher…

“It hasn’t been an easy decision, but there are a lot of factors,” Schneider told Housenick. “You don’t want to retire, but you think of your family and I think more than anything it’s physically how you feel.

“I’d kind of like to leave on my own terms and not have my last impression of baseball be someone telling me I can’t play. But there is a lot going on in my life and I’m very fortunate to have a great family and start being a dad and being around more often and being a good husband.”

Seriously, for Schneider, it was a thrill to sign with the Phils in 2010. He grew up about 20 miles south of Philly and graduated from Northampton High School in 1995. A home-grown product got to play for the team he rooted for as a kid.

That’s definitely something very cool.

What’s not cool is that I just realized I’m about a year older than Brian Schneider. Someone should just euthanize me now, already.

Anywho, we kid about Schneider, but the truth is, anytime you can hang on and have a 13-year career as a Major League ballplayer means you’re doing something right. While never much of an offensive threat, Schneider was a top-notch defensive catcher in his heyday, playing for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, New York Mets and Phillies.

He’s also seen as one of the game’s nice guys, so a proper send-off is more than fitting for the 36-year-old veteran.

Now, Brian Schneider gets to spend more time at home with his wife and four children, as the Phils move on with a new back-up catcher.

Everybody Kratz your hands.

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