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Mike Lowell: This Year Most Likely His Last

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It looks like Mike Lowell may be playing his last year of baseball this season:

In a text message to WEEI.com, Mike Lowell said this is most likely his last year. Lowell also told reporters prior to the Red Sox’ game against the Royals that he will most likely retire following the 2010 season. Lowell is making his first start of the season Saturday night, playing third base and hitting sixth.

Something irks me about all this. He complains that he didn't have an opportunity to fight for his job, despite not being healthy. Now he's coming out and saying he'll probably retire after this season. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him because of this? I am a Lowell fan, but it all just reeks a little too much for my liking.

How do you feel about this news? Is anyone else in the boat that I am, thinking this may be a tactical move from Lowell? If he's convinced he could have won the job out of spring (I know he didn't exactly say that), you'd think he'd be positive and think he could play another season.