Omar Vizquel isn’t ready to retire at age 44.
The veteran shortstop said Wednesday that he still loves the game, believes he can continue performing at a good level and intends to play for some team in 2012
“I can’t wait for spring training – wherever it may be,” said Vizquel, nearing the end of his second one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox.
Vizquel intends to return for a 24th major league season in 2012. He would be the 20th in history to play that long – Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Cap Anson share the record at 27 seasons apiece.
“I’ve got so much energy I don’t know what else I would do,” said Vizquel, a three-time All-Star and 11-time Gold Glove winner.
“I still have my legs. I can still play and most of all, I still want to play.”
In 58 games entering play Wednesday, he was hitting .251 as a utility infielder this year.
“He can play a few more years, if they use him the way we use him,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Every time we play him, he does a lot of good things for us. It can be in the field. He can move a runner over. He contributes to help the ballclub.”
Vizquel said he enjoys playing as much as when he was a 21-year-old rookie with Seattle in 1989.
Hughes’ back acts up
Yankees starter Phil Hughes received an injection of painkiller to alleviate a seven-year-old back injury that recurred, but New York hopes he can pitch next week during the final series of the regular season.
After going 18-8 last year, the 25-year-old right-hander is just 5-5 with a 6.00 ERA this year.