Raines retires after 21 seasons

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The Independent Online

Unhappy that he wasn't able to play up to his standards, New York Yankees outfielder Tim Raines retired from baseball on Thursday.

"I guess we all have an alarm for when it's time for your career to end, and I felt like my alarm went off two weeks ago," Raines said during a news conference in the Yankees' dugout before an U.S. Major League Baseball pre-season game against Boston.

Raines, fifth on the career steals list with 807, was with the Yankees this spring as a non-roster player, partly to showcase himself after missing the final 2 1-2 months of last season because of Lupus.

After Darryl Strawberry was suspended for a positive cocaine test, it appeared that Raines had a chance to make the Yankees as a part-time left fielder-designated hitter. But manager Joe Torre told Raines during the past week that was unlikely.

Raines, 39, hit .293 (7-for-24) in 10 games this spring but had only two extra-base hits, a double and a home run.

"I don't know where he would have fit in numbers-wise," Torre said. "He could have been a switch-hitter off the bench, but he's not a power switch-hitter off the bench. I think he could have played and not embarrassed himself this year. I think he didn't want to go anywhere. That probably made his decision for him."