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The Brian Giles Dodgers experiment comes to a close with his retirement

March 11, 2010 | 12:00 pm
Brian So long, Brian Giles, we hardly knew you.

At least not in the attempted Dodgers incarnation. As a Padre, we knew him all too well.

But age called, and as with most of us, there was no avoiding the answer.

Giles, 39, came to camp saying he needed to prove to himself he could no longer resemble the player he once was, and halfway in, he apparently did. He retired Thursday.

He was a unique presence in the clubhouse, with his complete body tan and shave job, but he came off likable, happy and at peace with his situation.

This is a player who hit 287 home runs in his career and drove in over 1,000 runs. He was a career .291 hitter with an impressive .400 on-base percentage.

Last year all his numbers plummeted to career lows as he battled a knee contusion that sent him to the disabled list the entire second half of the season.

General Manager Ned Colletti gave him a chance to earn a spot on the roster as a left-handed pinch hitter. He would have had to beat out Doug Mientkiewicz, no guarantee. Then the odds got longer when the Dodgers signed Garret Anderson.

His knee wasn’t getting any younger. So after 16 major-league seasons, he called it a career.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Brian Giles. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images