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Bobby Abreu among List of Former Phils Who Disappeared from Baseball This Year

Apr 16, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT

Going to the Eagles game this Sunday, and wondering what kind of reception to give Asante Samuel when he walks out of the tunnel? In an interview with AtlantaFalcons.com (<a href="javascript:void(window.open('http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/article-1/Samuel-Expects-Warm-Welcome/5dbee37b-1674-4c8e-9cf5-e997167871c2'));">via PhiladelphiaEagles.com</a>), Asante issued an ultimatum of sorts to the Lincoln Financial faithful.<br /><br />Cheer for me -- or else.

Jerry Crasnick’s story about Bobby Abreu for ESPN.com isn’t about
retirement. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. According to Crasnick, Abreu will
take the year off from baseball, but is already planning a comeback in 2014.

Yet in the same breath, Crasnick mentions a number of additional
veteran players who are waiting for phone calls, or in some cases have all but
faded into retirement. That’s not unusual of course, only this year the list
reads like a who’s who of former Phillies.

Along with Abreu, who didn’t get the right offer to lure him
away
from his business venture in Venezuela, at least four more once-prominent Phillies
were out of the league as of opening day. Two – Jim Thome and Scott Rolen –
could be gone from the game for good, while a pair of pitchers – Roy Oswalt and
Randy Wolf – we may not have heard the last from, but are still sitting at
home as of today.

In each case, we had an inkling their careers may be coming
to an end. Thome was here just last year, but couldn’t play the infield without
getting injured, while Oswalt became a part-time player over the summer,
joining the Texas Rangers midway through the season.

Rolen has essentially been a part-time player for awhile now
as well, his potential retirement constantly looming. Wolf is currently
rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on the other hand, so it seems there is a
good chance we may see him somewhere down the road.

What does it all mean? Nothing other than some truly great
players that once suited up for the Phillies – possibly even a couple of Hall of
Famers – appear to have left the game this offseason, maybe even forever in some
cases, to absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. A few of these guys may never turn up again, which
is kind of sad, and even if one or two of them make it back, you never know which trip to the diamond will be their last.

At least Abreu is confident he’ll return anyway. Via Crasnick:

Abreu, a two-time All-Star with
2,437 career hits, still wants to play even though he tried and failed to land
a contract over the winter. He plans to take this season off and focus on his
business interests as a budding entrepreneur in his native Venezuela, then play
winter ball for the Leones del Caracas starting in October as a prelude to a
comeback attempt in 2014.

“Bobby still thinks he has
something left to offer,” said Peter Greenberg, Abreu’s agent. “He
still thinks he can help somebody, and he has some personal milestones that
would probably be nice to cross.”

Bobby Abreu forever!

>> Bobby Abreu stepping away from the game… for now [ESPN]