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Former Pirate Clint Barmes retires

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes has retired, telling a reporter he made the decision in the middle of a recent game with Triple-A Omaha in the Royals system.

Barmes, of course, played for the Pirates from 2012 through 2014. He was far from the Pirates' best player, but he was one of the players most emblematic of the change in strategy that helped them become one of the National League's best teams. (Russell Martin and various pitchers all might share that distinction.) During Barmes' tenure, the Pirates increasingly relied on their pitching staff generating ground balls, and in an infield that frequently was shaky at other positions, Barmes bore the most responsibility for gobbling them up. He was reliably above average defensively in his three seasons with the Pirates, with UZR marking him at +21.5 runs total during his three seasons in Pittsburgh. His offense wasn't nearly as strong, which is the main reason he was eventually supplanted by Jordy Mercer, but his defense made him a useful player with the Bucs, almost by itself.

Barmes spent 13 years in the big leagues, also playing for the Rockies, Astros and Padres. He finishes his career with a .245/.294/.353 line and 89 career home runs. He never won a Gold Glove; the cynic might say that's only because he never hit well enough to win one. Here's wishing the 37-year-old the best in retirement.

This video is also highlighted in one of the links above, but I think it's also worthwhile to post here. It's a nice moment at PNC from Barmes' last year in the big leagues.