Rondell White ponders retirement

  • Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • August 7, 2007 - 11:08 PM

KANSAS CITY, MO. - Twins outfielder/designated hitter Rondell White is leaning toward retiring at the end of the season, which would end a 15-year career.

White said injuries over the past few seasons are a strong signal that he may no longer be able to handle the physical demands of the game. After training throughout the offseason, White tore a calf muscle the first week of the 2007 season, knocking him out of 95 games.

"I'm going to look in the mirror [after the season]," White, 35, said, "but there's a good chance I'm going to shut it down."

In a way, White feels he bucked the odds playing as long as he has. He broke his left leg at age 13 while playing basketball, and it never healed properly. There's a noticeable difference in size between his left and right leg.

White believes his recent leg problems -- he's been susceptible to hamstring pulls -- stem from his reliance on his right leg. Age also is taking a toll.

White and his wife, Zanovia, are expecting their first child this year.

"I'm going to try to give everything I've got," White said. "I feel bad. I kind of let my teammates down and the fans of Minnesota down. I had so many expectations of what I wanted to do to help out this year."

White returned to the lineup on Tuesday as the designated hitter after missing six games.

Buscher out

Brian Buscher is expected to miss the next few days because of an infection in his right leg.

Buscher fouled a ball off his leg while facing Paul Byrd in Cleveland, and the condition worsened. Buscher has played in eight games since making his debut two weeks ago.

"It's infected now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "and it sounds to me like they may end up having to drain it or something. I don't have a timetable on how many days this is going to be.

"He's not available."

That means the Twins began the road trip with just three bench players because they added a 12th pitcher over the weekend.

"I told my people, 'If you have heat exhaustion, you just have to play,'" Gardenhire joked. "Just lay down on the field."


• While Twins players have heard Oakland DH Mike Piazza does not want to be traded to Minnesota because he prefers the coasts, indications are that Piazza has closed no doors and has not been presented with any potential trade scenarios from the A's.

• Righthander Zach Ward, 3-15 with a 3.21 ERA at Class A Fort Myers, won on Monday for the first time since May 26. Run support is part of the reason for his poor record.

• Class A Fort Myers infielder Brian Dinkleman and Class A Beloit lefthander Tyler Robertson have been named Twins minor league player and pitcher of the month for July. Dinkleman batted .351 with three homers and 10 RBI. Robertson was 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA and 43 strikeouts in six starts.

Staff writer Joe Christensen contributed to this report.

La Velle E. Neal III •

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