Mike Lowell confirms that he will retire after 2010

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Red Sox veteran Mike Lowell confirmed to the Boston Herald on Saturday that he has officially made up his mind and will call it quits after the 2010 season.

“I’m retiring,” he said. “I just don’t want to make it a song and dance
because I don’t think that’s necessary, but if someone needs something
official, yeah, I’m going to retire. This is going to be my last year.”

Lowell, 36, has been hinting at retirement all season, so this “official” announcement should come as no surprise.  The .279/.341/.464 career hitter has batted just .231 with a .297 on-base percentage, .357 slugging percentage and only four home runs in 182 at-bats this season while battling a chronic hip injury.

Lowell was named to the All-Star Game four times and was awarded one Gold Glove.  He currently has 222 career home runs and 1,609 career hits.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.