View Full Version : Wilson Alvarez to retire after season

08-02-2005, 09:47 AM
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050801&content_id=1154290&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb WASHINGTON -- Dodgers pitcher Wilson Alvarez said Monday he will be disabled for the third time this season, hoping to rehabilitate his injured shoulder and return for the September stretch drive. However, he has decided to retire at the end of the season and forfeit $2 million guaranteed salary for next year.

"I'm going to do it the right way. I'm not going to just walk away now. I don't want people to think I'm quitting," said Alvarez, who considered retiring immediately after allowing an 11th-inning home run to Jim Edmonds on Sunday that cost the Dodgers a 7-5 loss to St. Louis.

"It's getting time to go. My arm is not responding like it used to. I'm going to spend a couple more weeks rehabilitating. Maybe I can come back to help. It's kind of tough. It's not like before, when I had to have surgery, but it still bothers me."

Alvarez has been told he needs surgery to clean up the shoulder, which plagued him for five years with Tampa Bay and required major surgery in 2000. He did not make the team flight to Washington for the three-game series with the Nationals that starts Tuesday night, but instead flew to his Florida home to discuss his decision with his family.

"I don't want surgery. I don't want to go through that again," he said. "I'll go back on the DL and try to finish the season and then at the end of the season, I'll say I'm done. For me, the money is not important. It's being happy and the way I feel. When there's pain, I don't feel happy. It tells me it's time to give somebody else a chance."

Alvarez, 35, is a 14-year veteran and the winningest Venezuelan pitcher in the Major Leagues. Once the ace of the Chicago White Sox, he signed a five-year, $35 million free-agent contract with Tampa Bay in 1998, but won only 17 games in five years.

The Dodgers picked him up off the scrap heap in 2003 and he reinvented himself as a valuable swingman and respected veteran presence in the clubhouse. Over the past winter, the Dodgers gave him a two-year, $4 million contract for 2005-06.

"I've been doing so many exercises this year, it's getting old, but I want to finish it out competing and pitching," he said. "I've been thinking about it a lot the last two weeks. I've thought about stopping now. But this organization gave me a chance to be somebody again. The organization has been so good to me and the fans and the city have treated me so good. So when I walk away, I have to do it the right way."

Alvarez's problems cropped up early this year. Trying to catch up after missing a few spring workouts with the flu, he threw too many pitches in an intrasquad game and developed tendinitis. He started the season on the disabled list, was activated May 3, but was disabled again May 31. He came back again July 19, but has been ineffective. He's pitched only 22 innings, but has a 5.73 ERA and has allowed seven home runs. With Kelly Wunsch out for the season, the club needed Alvarez to be the situational left-handed specialist, but lefties are hitting .370 against him. In his last five appearances, he's allowed five hits to 10 batters.