A-Gon Is Gone; Infielder Opts For Retirement

The utility infielder looked for more playing time and when he couldn't find it, he opted to call it a career. The move opens up a roster spot for Chris Coste - at least for now.

Last week, Alex Gonzalez asked manager Charlie Manuel for more playing time, but the response wasn't very positive. By Friday, Gonzalez decided to call it a career, but was asked to reconsider. The ironic thing is that before he had even reconsidered, the Phillies reconsidered and asked him to make a decision Sunday rather than waiting until Monday.

GM Pat Gillick pushed up his request for a respones to Sunday to allow the club to add Chris Coste to the roster. That move was necessitated when catcher Sal Fasano was hit in the groin by a foul ball and was unavailable for duty. That left just Carlos Ruiz as the only catcher on the roster. Coste - who can also play in the infield - served as Ruiz' backup on Sunday.

Gonzalez played 13 seasons in the majors and after seeing substantial playing time with the Devil Rays last season, had hoped to catch on somewhere with a full-time job for this season. When that didn't happen, he signed with the Phillies and hoped to find a decent amount of playing time, which he was unable to do. Gonzalez released a statement on Sunday saying that "it has been an excellent ride" in referring to his career. He simply said that it was time to "open a new chapter in my life," but didn't specify what he may do with his playing career behind him.

There is no immediate indication whether Coste will stay with the club once Fasano is available. The Phillies may opt for a different player who can contribute more at the shortstop position, a spot that Coste isn't too familiar with. Coste would have made the club out of spring training, if not for the trade that brought outfielder David Dellucci to Philadelphia.

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