It's hard for major league baseball players, as well as any athlete, to realize their career is over. They've worked every day of their lives to make it to the big leagues, but when their career comes creeping to an end, they refuse to admit it.
Hardly any player retires on his own terms anymore. They leave the game when no team wants them anymore, basically forcing them to retire. Some teams, however, are foolish enough to sign these decaying players.
Here is my list for 10 major league baseball players who need to hang up their cleats.
Wait, didn't he retire already? Yes, yes, he did. But after only one year of retirement, he's back with the New York Yankees on a minor-league contract.
Pettitte turns 40 on June 15. His glory days are behind him. Even his average days are behind. If he makes it into the Yankees rotation, he will immediately realize he made a mistake. He will most likely get injured during his first few starts.
New York did him a favor by allowing him to come back. Hopefully, this will be Pettitte's last season. For good.
Omar Vizquel is 44 years old. He has played 23 seasons in the majors. Need I say more? Vizquel has played in 100 games only once in the last four seasons. Last year, he hit .251 in 58 games. Why the Blue Jays offered him a contract in 2012 is beyond me.
Vizquel is most known for his defensive play but at his age, he can't move as well as he used to. He has only appeared in one game for the Blue Jays this year. I wouldn't be surprised if the Blue Jays released him before the season ends.
If that happens, Vizquel needs to realize his career was a success, but now over.
I know this is his last season, but Chipper Jones should seriously consider retiring in the middle of the season. In the first week of the season, Jones has already missed games because of injury.
I predict Jones will retire before the All-Star break. He will realize that him being there is only hurting the Braves rather than helping them as he has done throughout his career.
Although he's off to a good start in 2012, batting .444 with a home run, Chipper hasn't hit over .280 in the past three years.
It won't be because of performance that will force Chipper to retire before the 2012 season ceases, it will be because of injuries.
After starting for nearly his entire career, Raul Ibanez agreed to a platoon DH role with the New York Yankees. Ibanez is completely useless against righties, hence the platoon. After hitting .245 a year ago, the Philadelphia Phillies let him walk.
At 39 years of age, his career is almost in the rear-view mirror. This year, Ibanez is off to a dreadful start, only managing a .158 batting average. Expect that to continue as the season progresses.
After making a solid comeback with the Yankees a year ago, the Oakland A's signed him in the offseason. Colon is 39 years old with a career 4.09 ERA. In the last five years he pitched, he made 20 starts only once. Injuries have always been a problem for Colon.
It's not surprising that the A's signed Colon. The A's got a veteran pitcher for cheap. But after going 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 2011, the A's are reaching. Colon should consider himself lucky that he's still in the majors.
I can't see him returning for another season in 2013, unless a team is willing to throw away money.
Corey Patterson really needs to hang it up. He won't play in the majors again. In the offseason, Patterson signed a minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have great depth in the outfield and have no need for him. In the minors is where he will stay.
Patterson never turned out to be the superstar people expected. He was an average player for the Cubs before they finally gave up on him.
You won't be seeing Patterson in a major-league uniform again, whether he retires or not.
Before you jump all over me, let me tell you that I don't think Justin Morneau should retire just yet. But if he gets another concussion, he needs to call it quits.
He can't risk permanent brain damage. Morneau needs to put his health before his career.
Morneau is a dynamic player who just hasn't been the same hitter since his concussions. Sometimes, retiring is just the right thing to do.
Why did he even come back? After learning of a positive drug test and after playing five games with the Rays in 2011, Ramirez walked away from the game. We all thought we saw the last of Manny being Manny. Not so fast.
He came out of retirement and the A's were quick to sign him. Before he can play, he must serve a 50-game suspension. Ramirez should have just called it quits for good after he learned of his positive drug test.
Manny hasn't hit over .300 in the past five seasons. His power numbers decrease every year.
Manny needs to be Manny somewhere else.
I know that this is a great story and all, but Jamie Moyer has played with Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth and somehow he's still pitching in the majors. He's not that old? Well, it seems like it. Moyer is 49 years of age and is currently in his 24th season in the big leagues.
After sitting out the 2011 season after having shoulder surgery, many thought his long career was over. Many were wrong. The Rockies signed Moyer and he made their starting rotation out of spring training. Even if his repaired shoulder holds up, the Rockies and Moyer made a mistake.
In 2010, Moyer finished with a 9-9 record with a 4.84 ERA. He has a career 4.22 ERA, which makes it even more amazing that Moyer has been around this long. However, Moyer is pushing his luck.
Moyer should have taken his shoulder injury in 2010 as a sign and hung up his cleats. 2012 will be a long year for Moyer and his last. He's just too old to be effective anymore.
He's done. His career is over. He can't hit water if he fell out of a boat. His swing is full of holes and he isn't fixing it.
Last year was the one of the most pathetic seasons I have ever seen from a ballplayer. He batted .158 with 177 strikeouts. He struck out 42 percent of the time. He should have called it a career after last season.
This year is no better. Dunn is hitting .182 with 10 strikeouts in 22 at bats. It's physically painful to watch. You never want to see a once-dominant hitter end his career like this. But Dunn's career will end that way.
Instead of going out on top, Dunn will be forced to retire and fade away into the shadows. Dunn is the prime example of a player not knowing when to quit.