Derek Lowe says he's "not going to go to the Hall of Fame, so I don't feel like I need to have a retirement speech." Therefore, these are the words he used when speaking to USA Today Wednesday:
"I'm officially no longer going to play the game. It's still enjoyable, but the role I was having wasn't fulfilling."
Lowe -- a long-time Red Sox and one of the heroes of the 2004 postseason run -- had been, at age 40, reduced to the role of mop-up man for the Rangers. And even that ended May 23, when he was released.
"I was grateful for the opportunity [Texas] gave me in spring training. But -- having been able to be a starter or a closer throughout your career -- being the mop-up long relief guy . . . let someone else try that," he said.
Lowe heads off into the sunset with a career 176-157 record and a 4.03 ERA in 681 games with the Mariners, Red Sox, Dodgers, Braves, Indians, Yankees and Rangers. He came to Boston in one of Dan Duquette's greatest steals -- he and Jason Varitek were acquired at the trade deadline in 1997 for Heathcliff Slocumb -- and, as most of us remember, was the winning pitcher in the clinching games of all three series in the Sox' historic '04 postseason run.
"[I] was able to play 17 years on some pretty cool teams and win a World Series," he said. "So, everyone's got to stop playing at some point, and this is my time."