It's better to go out on your own terms than to be shown the door by someone else.
Every season, a handful of major league veteran ballplayers learn that the hard way, with performances that don't come close to resembling the body of work that they have put together over lengthy, successful major league careers.
Whether it's due to age, injury or a combination of both, sooner or later, the game that these athletes have spent the majority of their lives playing passes them by.
Look, I used to be like you, seeing a headline like this and becoming irate, jumping into the comments section and going on the attack.
"Who are you, Mr. (or Mrs.) Writer, to say that a player shouldn't continue to earn money at his craft? This is how these people make a living you buffoon! If anyone should retire, it's you!"
We aren't talking about people who live paycheck to paycheck here, folks.
These guys have all been well compensated for their work and, chances are, have been living comfortably off of the interest that their money has earned, not on their yearly salaries.
Look, I'm not one to say that people shouldn't earn as much as they can for as long as they can. We all should, regardless of our occupation. While money may not buy happiness, it sure makes things a whole lot easier.
But at some point, the extra money that these players can earn at the end of their careers gets outweighed by the damage they are doing to their legacies, to their career numbers.
Nobody wants to see Willie Mays in a New York Mets uniform again.
With that said, let's take a look at a handful of veterans who should seriously consider leaving their struggles in the past—and start looking forward to the next chapter in their lives.
*Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and are current through games of June 25.
**All salary information courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.