SEATTLE -- The first time the Red Sox told Darnell McDonald they were going to designate him for assignment was after a game in St. Petersburg against the Rays in May of 2010. But an injury cropped up with Jacoby Ellsbury and the move was never made, allowing McDonald to stay with the team for another 25 months.
The run came to an end Saturday, when McDonald was finally caught in a numbers crunch he couldn't escape. The Red Sox designated for assignment the popular outfielder to create a roster spot for right-hander Josh Beckett, who was activated for his start against the Mariners.
McDonald played in 38 games this season, hitting .214 with two homers and nine RBIs.
In his first game with the Red Sox on April 20, 2010, McDonald became an instant hero, tying the game with a home run and winning it with a walk-off double off the Green Monster.
He had been a journeyman before arriving in Boston, spending the majority of his time in the Minor Leagues.
"Dream come true to play in Boston want to wish my boys good luck the rest of the year! Much love to RSN! #ShowGoesOn," McDonald posted on his Twitter account on Saturday.
After Friday night's win, McDonald showed his selfless nature that made him so beloved in the clubhouse, tweeting, "Cookie pitched a gem! 81 pitches! #CG."
The Red Sox opted to designate McDonald and go with 13 pitchers.
"Oh, really tough," manager Bobby Valentine said of telling McDonald the news. "Darnell is one of those guys that you just love having around. He helped us win some games this year with some big plays defensively and offensively. [He's] one of the guys in the clubhouse that's really well respected."
The Red Sox still have four outfielders on the disabled list in Carl Crawford, Ellsbury, Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik, making it unlikely McDonald could have lasted the season.
"It's a game of numbers and it seemed with all the outfielders who eventually are going to come back, his number was eventually going to be pulled. We decided today would be the day," Valentine said.