Matt Garza showed up at the 57th Fresno Grizzlies Hot Stove Gala in a sling after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Garza said he will miss the 2018 season. The 34-year-old also said he was unsure if he’d ever get to pitch in the majors again.
“At my age, it could be the end. Who knows?” Garza said. “I can’t complain. I’ve spent 12 seasons in the majors. I’ve made great memories.”
Garza is a 12-year major-league veteran who is a free agent after four seasons with Milwaukee. He pitched through the shoulder injury the last half of last season, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Garza’s best seasons were with the Tampa Bay Rays, winning American League Championship Series MVP in 2008 and throwing a no-hitter in 2010.
Garza was among five special guests Thursday night, joining Dusty Baker, Houston Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Giants special assistant Mark Gardener and Cleveland Indians bench coach Brad Mills on the dais.
Baker entertained the crowd of about 400 with stories about his time as the San Francisco Giants manager.
Baker oversaw some of the bigger moments in Giants history while serving as the San Francisco skipper from 1993-2002.
Barry Bonds, the controversial slugger but also the all-time home run leader, broke the single-season home run record during Baker’s watch in 2001.
The Giants reached the World Series in 2002, falling short to the Anaheim Angels.
And Baker also was around during the dugout fight between Bonds and fellow Giants All-Star Jeff Kent.
“You know, you put a bunch of egos on the bus, in the room, in the hotel, at the ballpark,” Baker said, “sooner or later after game 115, something’s going to happen.
“Guys sometimes scuffle at work. There’s not the pressure at work like there is at the ball field. But that happens sometimes.”
▪ Gus Zernial award winners as last season’s outstanding high school baseball and softball players in the area were Fresno High pitcher Jacob Topete, the North Yosemite League Player of the Year, and Edison High catcher Kristen Arias, who’s at San Jose State.
▪ Clovis High coach James Patrick was presented with the Al Radka Award, which celebrates an individual who has made a contribution to the community through baseball.