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MLB Notes: Veteran Vizquel wants to keep playing

THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 2011

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.

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