Back in May, Omar Vizquel told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that he'd probably retire unless he finished the season well. Three months later, with the White Sox in a pennant race and Vizquel getting regular playing time, the veteran shortstop sounded as if he's ready to stick around in another chat with Cowley.
"I think it would be sad that if at the end of the season I look back, look at my year, and say, 'Man, I don't think I can do this anymore,' " Vizquel said. "Taking a look at the numbers and the things that I have done this year, it will give me a good possibility to come back next year and try and see if a team is interested in wanting me again.''
Entering tonight's action, Vizquel has a .283/.349/.341 slash line in 259 plate appearances for Chicago. While the .690 OPS is modest, it would represent Vizquel's best season since the .749 OPS he posted in 2006 as San Francisco's everyday shortstop. Vizquel has played mostly third base for the Sox this season filling in for the injured Mark Teahen, and has made five of six starts at third since Teahen returned from the DL last week.
Vizquel signed a one-year, $1.375MM contract with Chicago last winter and would certainly sign a similar pact with the White Sox or another club if he chooses to return for his 23rd major league campaign. If he does come back, Vizquel will continue his surprising ascent up baseball's all-time hits leaderboard. Though Vizquel is known for his defense (he's an 11-time Gold Glover), he is also 49th all-time with 2768 hits heading into Thursday. He'll already pass Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson (2774 hits) and future HOF-er Ken Griffey Jr. (2781) before this season is out.