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Sunday, January 25, 2004
Risk of further injury is too high news services

BOSTON -- What seemed inevitable 2½ weeks ago now appears to be a reality.

Mo Vaughn

Injured New York Mets first baseman Mo Vaughn, speaking at a baseball banquet, said Friday night that his major league career is over.

"I'm through, man," Vaughn said, according to a Boston Globe report. "My career is over. I have an injury no doctor can fix, but I have no regrets."

Vaughn had announced on Jan. 8 that he would not play in 2004 and was doubtful for 2005 because of his arthritic left knee.

Vaughn told the paper he had exhausted all medical options before making the decision, but that experts told him he ultimately would need a knee replacement in order to keep playing.

Vaughn went on the disabled list May 3 with joint and cartilage damage in his knee and didn't play again last season.

My career is over. I have an injury no doctor can fix, but I have no regrets.
Mo Vaughn

"From what the doctors say, it would be tough this season and it's not very bright for years to come," Vaughn said on Jan. 8. "It doesn't look good at all. It's a bad situation.

"I worked hard this offseason trying to put strength in the knee. An athlete knows his body. You know pain. You feel it in your bones. You've got to get up, get on with life and keep moving."

Vaughn is owed $15 million for 2004, the final year of an $80 million contract he signed in 1999. The Mets have a $14 million option with a $2 million buyout in 2005. Insurance on the deal will reimburse the team for 75 percent of the contract once he misses 90 days.

Vaughn, the 1995 AL MVP with Boston, has 326 career homers, 1,064 RBI and a .293 batting average in 12 major league seasons. He missed the entire 2001 season with a ruptured tendon in his left arm and hit just .190 with three homers and 15 RBI in 27 games for the Mets last year -- his second with the team.