Mark Mulder on Monday strongly denied reports out of Milwaukee and Oakland that said he had decided to retire from baseball.
The left-hander told the San Francisco Chronicle he is, in fact, backing off on his throwing program as he continues to recover from serious shoulder injuries. He said he still is working on a delivery that will allow him to be effective on the mound.
"I never said ‘retirement.’ That’s the wrong word," Mulder told the Chronicle. "The thing is, physically, I feel great, but my arm just doesn’t work the way I want to work, so I just shut it down from throwing. But I never really said I was going to retire; I’m 32 and I don’t feel like there’s anything physically wrong with me."
The retirement firestorm started Monday morning when Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson, who worked with Mulder when the two were with the Athletics, told MLB.com that Mulder was quitting. That was after a Milwaukee television station had reported Mulder was finished. Later, A’s infielder Eric Chavez told Bay Area reporters that Mulder was indeed hanging up his cleats.
"He said he’s done," Chavez said. "But he didn’t really do a good job of convincing me. I said, ‘You’re not going to be the next Brett Favre, are you?’ "
Then came the denials, first by Mulder’s agent, Gregg Clifton, followed by Mulder himself.
"Whether or not I get it going again, I don’t know. I’m not ruling anything out. But retiring? No," Mulder told the Chronicle.
The Brewers had been interested in signing Mulder, who blossomed under Peterson’s tutelage in Oakland but hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 9, 2008, with the Cardinals.