Retirement Stinks

The news broke at 3:40pm on Tuesday afternoon:


Wilkerson accepts minor-league deal with Phillies (Fox Sports).


Yep.  That would be 32-year-old Brad Wilkerson who battled for the final spot on the Red Sox roster in last year’s spring training camp before opening the season with Pawtucket.


Wilkerson re.jpg 

(photo courtesy of the Providence Journal)


Wilkerson had a brutal spring for Boston, going 5-for-42 (.196), and the veteran outfielder got off to a slow start for the PawSox going 1-for-9 in the first two regular season games with four strikeouts.


That’s when Brad decided it was time to call it quits.


After Pawtucket’s second game he went to manager Ron Johnson’s hotel room in Buffalo and told him that his heart wasn’t in it anymore.  Having made more than $15 million dollars in the big leagues with Montreal, Washington, Texas, and Seattle, Brad decided that it was time to go home to his wife and kids.


I’m not surprised that he’s changed his mind.  If you were good enough to play pro baseball and were financially secure, wouldn’t you keep playing for as long as possible?


“He’s like a kid in candy store right now, chomping at the bit for an opportunity,” a friend of Wilkerson’s told Fox Sports. “He feels he can be as good if not better than what he has been at the major-league level.”


Wilkerson, who hit 32 HR for the Expos in 2004, is so eager to play again that he accepted a minor league contract that does not include an invitation to major league training camp.  Brad’s deal includes an escape clause if he is not promoted to the big leagues by June 15th.


His 10-month retirement was lengthy compared to another former Pawtucket outfielder.


Kielty re.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


On July 12, 2009, I chatted with Bobby Kielty for several minutes as he took batting practice before a game in Norfolk.  The switch-hitter, who homered for the Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, gave no indication that anything unusual was going on.


Minutes after our conversation, he walked into Ron Johnson’s office and said he was finished and going home to California.


His “retirement” lasted for a month as Bobby joined the Rochester Red Wings on August 14th.


Last year, Bobby got off to an injury-plagued start with Triple-A Buffalo and didn’t play after April 17th.  The 33-year-old outfielder was released by the Mets organization in June and got to spend the rest of the summer with his family.


Three weeks ago, reported that Kielty is attempting to make a comeback as a pitcher.


It beats mowing the lawn right?


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