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Jason Bay likely to retire

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Mike Stobe

He hasn't made any grand pronouncements, but it looks like Jason Bay is retiring. This is no surprise in the sense that he hasn't been a productive player in quite awhile now, and his decline was pretty predictable to begin with. But he's still only 35, and it's been less than 10 years since he won the Rookie of the Year award with the Pirates in 2004.

Mets and Mariners fans might not remember Bay fondly, but I sure will -- he replaced the guy he was traded for, Brian Giles, as the best hitter on the awful Pirates teams on which he played. Relative to everything else that was going on, his at-bats were must-see TV. It's hard to overestimate how much easier the Pirates were to watch from 2004 through 2006 because of Bay. Bay finishes his career with 222 home runs, 139 of them for the Pirates.