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Sore Achilles' forces Edmonds to retire

JUPITER — Jim Edmonds drove a pitch over the rightfield wall late last season and began home run trot No. 393.

Somewhere between second and third base at Milwaukee's Miller Park on Sept. 21, he took a few awkward steps.

"Something popped," he said then.

Turns out, that was the end of his 17-year career.

On Friday, two weeks after he signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals, Edmonds retired because of his injured right Achilles' tendon.

"Although I feel that I can still play and contribute, the risk of permanent injury is too much for me to chance," Edmonds, 40, said in a statement released by the team.

Edmonds was a four-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner, popular with teammates and fans for his acrobatic catches. When baseball people mentioned "gamers," his name was always near the top of the list.

Edmonds helped the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series, hitting .257 with 19 homers and 70 RBIs that season.

"Jimmy was amazing out there," said the Cardinals' Albert Pujols, who played alongside Edmonds in the outfield before moving to first base. "I don't think there could be any better centerfielder to read the ball better than Jimmy. He always tried to make everyone around him better. That's why he won so many Gold Gloves."

Edmonds spent his first seven seasons with the Angels before playing for the Cardinals from 2000-07. He finished with a .284 average and 1,199 RBIs. Edmonds, who took 2009 off then decided he wanted to play again, hit .276 with 11 homers last year for the Brewers and Reds.

"He had an unbelievable car­eer," St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said. "He was just a great personality with tremendous baseball talent. He could fill a highlight reel. The impact he had during his tenure here … we won a lot of baseball games. He was a key part of that. His legacy with the St. Louis Cardinals will end up being in line when you think about historic names."

Nationals: Manager Jim Riggleman said catcher Ivan Rodriguez, 39, will start on opening day. That leaves Jesus Flores and Wilson Ramos to compete to back up the 14-time All-Star.

Orioles: Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero officially signed a one-year, $8 million deal ($3 million deferred). The sides agreed to terms Feb. 4 but had to wait until he passed a physical. The nine-time All-Star hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs for the Rangers last year.

Twins: Lefty Francisco Liriano missed the first workout because of a sore shoulder while catcher Joe Mauer was limited because of a sore left knee. Both injuries are considered minor.

Clemens case: Prosecutors say Roger Clemens' motion to dismiss his indictment on charges of lying to Congress is without merit. The seven-time Cy Young winner asked a judge last month to dismiss the charges. He argued the indictment is vague and contains too many separate accusations of lying in one count. Prosecutors replied in a court filing Friday that the accusations can all be charged in a single count because they were part of one continuing scheme to obstruct a congressional investigation into his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens is scheduled to go on trial in July. There is no timetable on the motion to dismiss.

Arbitration: Rightfielder Hunter Pence and the Astros participated in the majors' final hearing in Phoenix. Of the 119 players who filed, only three, the lowest since its inception in 1974, went to a hearing. Pitcher Ross Ohlendorf beat the Pirates, and the Angels beat pitcher Jered Weaver. Pence, who hit .282 with 25 homers, 91 RBIs and 18 steals last year, asked for $6.9 million. Houston offered $5.15 million. A decision is expected today.

Sore Achilles' forces Edmonds to retire 02/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 18, 2011 10:20pm]
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