By Joe Christensen
CLEARWATER, FLA. — We have just received word that former Twins third baseman Corey Koskie is retiring.
We’ve got a conference call scheduled with him and will have updates shortly.
Update: Koskie, who was in Cubs camp on a minor-league deal this spring, said the risks of suffering another concussion outweighed the rewards of playing baseball again.
Koskie’s entire life changed when he suffered a concussion on July 5, 2006, while playing for the Brewers.
Koskie, 35, played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic and was 1-for-5 with a double in three Cactus League games this spring.
“I really have no doubt in my mind that I would have made this team,” Koskie said. ”The guys over here were impressed. I’ve played in three games, and I hit a double off the center field wall, and then I pinch hit. I put together six good [plate appearances, including a walk].
“I don’t feel my skills were diminished. I don’t feel there was much of a rust factor at all.”
That didn’t make Koskie’s decision any easier.
“It actually made it harder,” he said. ”But I know that was the right thing to do.”
Koskie said he received a reminder of how scary concussions can be when his son, Joshua, suffered one last weekend and spent the night in the emergency room.
Then on Wednesday, Koskie dove for a ball and started to feel “weird.” He had some water and felt better, so it might have been dehydration.
“Then I kind of decided, after every play, do I want to be looking over my shoulder, [wondering] how do I feel?” he said. “And with everything I’ve gone through the last 2 1/2 years, I know I don’t want to go back there.
“For the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve been talking to kids, talking to parents, telling all those people, ‘Is it really worth it, sending their kids back out to play?’ I made the decision that this time it wasn’t worth it. The risks outweighed the rewards of the situation.”
Update: Nick Blackburn tossed three innings in a start for Class AA New Britain today against Class AAA Rochester, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and one strikeout. Blackburn threw 45 pitches and threw first-pitch strikes to seven of nine batters.
1. Denard Span, LF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Brian Buscher, 1B
5. Luke Hughes, 3B
6. Carlos Gomez, CF
7. Jose Morales, C
8. Brendan Harris, SS
9. R.A. Dickey, P
1. Miguel Cairo, SS
2. Geoff Jenkins, RF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. John Mayberry Jr., CF
6. Matt Stairs, LF
7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
8. Chris Coste, C
9. Kyle Kendrick, P
Bright House Field. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central)