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Pain forces Lilly into retirement

The SportsXchange

Veteran left-hander Ted Lilly told a Venezeulan newspaper that his baseball career is over.

Lilly was hoping to prove that he could still pitch by going to the Venezuelan Winter League after he underwent a procedure by a spine specialist to cauterize nerve endings on the right side of his neck.

But neck and shoulder pain persisted and Lilly decided to retire, he told the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal.

"My body in general is telling me that I can't take any more," Lilly said. "I feel like I don't have the ability to continue at the major league level."

Lilly told El Universal that he didn't expect to retire so soon, but he felt awful on the mound.

"It's principally the pain in my back and shoulder," Lilly said. "I'm having problems there. I feel like I can't return to being the pitcher I was a few years ago."

Injuries plagued Lilly the past two seasons in the majors. The 37-year-old made just 13 starts in 2012-2013 and was limited to 23 innings last season before he was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

A two-time All-Star, Lilly posted a 130-113 record, a 4.14 ERA and 1,681 strikeouts in 1982 2/3 innings spanning 15 seasons with the Montreal Expos, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs and the Dodgers.

Lilly said he might consider coaching in the future, but his short-term plans are to spend time with his family.
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