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Breaking up is hard to do

Rudy Seanez is not retiring yet.

In fact, the 40-year-old free-agent journeyman reliever even rejected a recent contract offer to return to the Phillies, according to agent David Schwartz, adding that Seanez is still “pondering interest from a few other clubs.” The Padres are among the them.

Seanez doesn’t necessarily need all this. He’s a down-to-earth dude who owns a Cold Stone Creamery franchise with his family and has dreams of being a professional submission fighter.

From the moment I started covering Seanez two years ago when he came to Dodgers camp as a non-roster invitee, I thought he’d simply retire rather than pitch away from his Southern California home.

But confronted with a sudden retirement after the Dodgers released him out of spring training last year, he couldn’t bring himself to give it all up. It worked out, as he made 42 appearances for the Philadelphia and finally got his World Series ring (even though he wasn’t on the playoff roster).

Finishing up a career a World Series champion might on its face be the perfect way to go out, but Seanez is going to weigh his options and might show up at a camp somewhere soon.

"We let it be known he’s not in a particular hurry to make a decision," Schwartz said.

Baseball, after all, is in his blood.

***

Seanez isn’t the only player with SFO-LAX connections who’s creatively trying to hold off on retirement.

Shawn Estes - The former 19-game winner for the Giants is in camp with the Dodgers trying to win a job. He told the Los Angeles Times in February he’d retire if he didn’t make the team. He backtracked on that statement, calling it "a mental trick" after being cut from major league camp yesterday. Today, he agreed to go to minor league camp with the idea of converting to a reliever and eventually still making the team.

Lance Niekro - He’s on the comeback trail with the Braves, who are giving him a chance to hone the knuckleball and continue the family trade. The former Giants first baseman struggled to cope with the death of his father, Joe. According to the New York Times, he was in tears shortly after a heckler at Dodger Stadium yelled out, “You’re a bum! Just like your dad!” Soon after, the Giants sent him packing.

Dave Roberts - Once a Dodgers overachiever of an outfielder, Roberts was released this spring by the Giants with $6.5 million left on his contract. His knee still bothers him, but Roberts is not ready to announce his retirement, according to the San Jose Mercury News. If no team wants him, Roberts reportedly is considering broadcasting, scouting, being a special assistant and making his own wine.

Tanyon Sturtze - After being designated for assignment by the Dodgers last August, the veteran right-hander was added onto the payroll as a third bullpen catcher. That allowed him to get introduced as a player come playoff time and provide a few pointers. I wonder how much of a playoff share that merits? This spring, he’s back in Dodgers camp and still a candidate to make the team.

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