Chicago White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday night that he is “deviating” from baseball indefinitely, while also apologizing to the team for not “accepting some of their decisions.”
The mail was accompanied by a photo of the words “it’s over”.
“I would like to apologize to anyone I inadvertently offended as a result of my immaturity, including members of radio, television and press,” Mercedes wrote in his post. “To all the team members I was involved with, I’m sorry I failed as a human being and didn’t accept some of their decisions. I’m going to retire from baseball indefinitely.”
It is unclear what decisions Mercedes referred to in its post.
Earlier Wednesday, Mercedes had posted “El Retiro” – or “retirement” – with a thinking emoji on its Instagram story.
Mercedes, 28, earned AL Player of the Week to open the season, hitting .415 with five homeruns and 16 RBI’s in 22 games in April, but then struggled. His batting average dropped to .271 before being relegated to Triple-A Charlotte in early July.
The White Sox were seemingly taken aback by Mercedes’ intentions on Wednesday night.
“The White Sox are aware of tonight’s Instagram post by Yermn Mercedes, who is currently on the active roster of our Class AAA team in Charlotte, NC,” the team said in a statement. “At this time, the White Sox have not received any official notification from Yermn about his future plans.”
Manager Tony La Russa, who learned of the post from Mercedes on Wednesday following the White Sox’s 7-2 loss to the Twins, said he would try to contact him.
“I understand being in Triple-A away from the big leagues, you can get emotional,” said La Russa. “I don’t know more. Will contact him. Maybe a little frustrated. I will try to explain to him that he has a future in the big league.”
Mercedes wore his emotions on his sleeve and played with swagger like an older rookie, but he was the subject of controversy in May when La Russa criticized him for swinging on a 3-0 pitch late in a blowout win over the Minnesota Twins; Mercedes replied that he would not change. He endeared himself to White Sox fans after making the team when left fielder Eloy Jimenez was injured in spring practice. A local eatery even named a hamburger after him: the ‘Yerminator’.
Mercedes ran into problems other than swinging on a 3-0 pitch. He was benched in a game in early May for arriving late to the ballpark, and he expressed disappointment after being sent off to the minors.
“He’s a talented man,” said La Russa. “He earned the spot on the roster. Then he earned all those at bats. And he ran into what often happens with rookies. There’s so much video and tape, and they start to make adjustments. You have to learn how to adjust back. I know the stroke he showed early — his head is on the ball and he’s not getting too big — he can make those adjustments and he can get into the big leagues.”
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