Time to hang up the spikes?

Carl Everett, J.T. Snow and Terry Mulholland never officially retired. They just disappeared from the box scores this summer while we were barely paying attention.

It happens every year: Former All-Stars, Gold Glovers and clubhouse clowns are released or designated for assignment, and they go home to coach Little League, pick up the tab at Dairy Queen and collect their pensions in anonymity.

It happens every winter, too. Some players decide the injuries are too much to bear and it's time to quit. Others lose their desire to play. And some are dying to play only to discover their agents can't get a phone call returned.