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Cards' Eldred says his baseball career is over
By Joe Strauss

Cal Eldred confirmed Sunday his decision to retire following a second-chance career that ended with three years in the Cardinals bullpen.

Eldred, who turned 38 last week, cited personal and financial reasons in addition to a conversation with general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Tony La Russa shortly after the team's elimination from the National League Championship Series.

"I think that it's common sense because of a lot of factors for me not to play anymore," Eldred said.

Eldred was 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in 31 appearances, including one spot start, in a season interrupted by myopericarditis, a viral infection of the lining surrounding his heart. The ailment sidelined him for 56 games covering two months and followed a year in which his wife, Christi, delivered twin girls and suffered the loss of her grandmother and mother.

"That continued to help me confirm that what I was feeling was correct," Eldred said. "Any team you're going to talk to, including the Cardinals, is going to say, 'Look at those (health) problems you have.' As a player, that's in the past but a team is going to bring it up.

"Could I push it another year or two? Probably. But I don't know if it's for the best."

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Sad to hear but best for Cal.
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