Rocco Baldelli is calling it a career at the tender age of 29 years old.
The Rhode Island native and former Red Sox outfielder has told the St. Petersburg Times that he plans to announce his retirement Wednesday.
"I don't anticipate ever playing baseball again. I'm retired. The paperwork will be filed," Baldelli told the Times. "And you know what. The only time I feel like it's good to retire is when you're happy to retire. And I'm happy."
Baldelli will join the Rays as a special adviser, working in scouting and player development. The Bishop Hendrickson (Warwick, RI) High School alum spent six years with the Rays, where hit .280, stole 59 bases and scored 258 runs. In one season with the Red Sox, he batted .258 with 23 runs and 23 RBIs in just 62 games played.
"It's tough, because you almost never put playing and being an athlete behind you," Baldelli said. "But in my mind, I already feel like it's a step behind me.
"But I don't live angrily; I live kind of happy," he added. "Why would I look at the negative aspects of everything that I've been through and live the rest of my life talking about those things that aren't the important things to me? The important things to me were all the wonderful things I got to do."
Baldelli was plagued with channelopathy, a muscle-fatiguing illness that severely limited his playing time.
"I don't regret anything. You know what's sad is that I love to play, and I really didn't get a chance to do it as much as I wanted to," Baldelli said.