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"Could it have somehow been better?" - Former ALCS MVP, two-time All-Star Andrew Miller reminisces 'what-ifs' in his retirement announcement

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game One
World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game One

Lefty specialist Andrew Miller has officially announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. It brings an end to a career that could be considered unimpressive. On the surface, Andrew Miller doesn't seem noteworthy, with a career earned run average above 4.00, less than 1,000 strikeouts, and only 63 saves. However, anyone who looks beyond Andrew Miller's counting statistics will find moments so brilliant that he is considered one of the greatest relievers ever to throw a baseball.

He helped change how relievers are used in postseason. This offseason, he helped union change how young players are paid.After 16 years in the majors (and the past three months at the negotiating table), Andrew Miller tells Post-Dispatch he's retiring.stltoday.com/sports/basebal…

"He helped change how relievers are used in postseason. This offseason, he helped union change how young players are paid. After 16 years in the majors (and the past three months at the negotiating table), Andrew Miller tells Post-Dispatch he's retiring." - @ Derrick S. Goold

Andrew Miller changed baseball for all relief pitchers

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians
World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians

Miller began his career as the sixth overall pick by the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. After setting records for career and single-season strikeouts at the University of North Carolina, Miller was a tantilizing prospect as a tall, left-handed fireballer. His tenure with the Detroit Tigers would be short-lived. Miller was packaged with outfielder Cameron Maybin in a trade to the Florida Marlins for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. It appeared for the longest time that the only player to benefit from the trade would be Miguel Cabrera. Willis quickly unraveled in Detroit, Maybin was considered a bust, and Miller was plagued by injuries en-route to an earned run average of 4.84. Maybin went on to be "the guy from the Miguel Cabrera trade," while Miller went to reinvent himself in Boston.

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays

While with the Boston Red Sox, Miller was moved to the bullpen and began to put it all together. He stranded over 92 percent of the baserunnersrs he inherited as a reliever. He ended the 2014 season in Boston with a 2.34 earned run average, a rate of 1.5 strikeouts per inning, and the title of one of the most reliable relief pitchers in the game of baseball.

From there, Miller dominated the bullpen. For the Orioles, he retired 22 of the 24 batters he faced in the playoffs, striking out nearly half of them. He then went to the New York Yankees to form one of the best bullpens ever assembled with Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. Even though Miller wasn't the closer, he was still respected as one of the best relievers in the game.

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He was then traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2016 at the trade deadline, and reunited with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Francona and Miller then proceeded to change the perception of relief pitchers, as Miller was the team's best reliever but didn't always pitch in the ninth inning. Francona decided the best way to use Miller was in the highest leverage situations, and Miller went on to have a legendary performance in the playoffs even though Cleveland lost the series.

I have been in many postseasons and hadn't seen anybody dominate like Andrew Miller. Not even the great Mariano Rivera I saw having as much success as Andrew Miller, overpowering hitters.- Pedro Martinez

Miller finished his career with the St. Louis Cardinals as his body finally succumbed to injuries. His final act as a Major League Baseball player was as a member of the MLBPA executive committee, where he helped current and future players get fair contracts and benefits. Andrew Miller changed the game, and leaves baseball a much better sport because of it.

Andrew Miller spent the offseason working long hours on a CBA he won’t play under. What a final act in an already exemplary career. twitter.com/dgoold/status/…
"Andrew Miller spent the offseason working long hours on a CBA he won't play under. What a final act in an already exemplary career." - @ Lindsey Adler

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Edited by Jodi Whisenhunt
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