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Curt Schilling announces retirement

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Love him or hate him, but I think most people respected him. Curt Schilling announced his retirement today after 20 major league seasons, including four with the Boston Red Sox:

Schilling, a winner of 216 regular-season games and a crucial contributor to the Red Sox' 2004 and 2007 World Championships, made the announcement on his WEEI.com blog "38 Pitches" this morning, writing:

"This party has officially ended. After being blessed to experience 23 years of playing professional baseball in front of the world's best fans in so many different places, it is with zero regrets that I am making my retirement official."

Part of me really believes that Schilling could pick up the ball today and still be an effective pitcher. It's a shame he's not going to get that opportunity, though. While some will pinpoint his age and effectiveness as a factor, I'd say the economy played a huge role in his retirement as well because some teams just aren't willing to put up any money for a questionable veteran.

We'll have more on Schilling's retirement later.