Vazquez visits Miami, still not considering playing

MIAMI — Time away from the game hasn’t changed Javier Vazquez’s desire to remain at home with his family.

Vazquez isn’t officially saying he’s retired, but clearly the 35-year-old is content to spend 2012 in Puerto Rico with his family.

“I’m reserving the right to use that word retire, I guess.” Vazquez said. “I’m not planning on playing, but I don’t want to retire, because I don’t want to say I’m retired and then come back. I want to make sure. Right now, I’m not planning on coming back or anything.”

Vazquez was at Marlins Park on Monday, interacting on the field with his former teammates.

In 2011, the right-hander finished strong in his lone season as a Marlin. He went 5-0 with an 0.71 ERA in September, earning National League Pitcher of the Month honors.

For the year, he was 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA.

Rather than weigh free agent options, Vazquez made it clear to Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria at the end of the 2011 campaign that he intended to not pitch in 2012.

“The last three or four years, I’ve been thinking when is going to be my time,” he said. “I’ve always said I want to spend time with my family and I want to see the kids grow up. I want to spend time with them. Right now, I’m not missing it. That’s why I’m here.”

Vazquez has been spending his time in Puerto Rico playing tennis and exercising. The throwing he does is with his son, who was at Marlins Park on Monday.

Vazquez is spending a week of vacation in Miami, and he plans on attending the Miami Heat game against Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

During the offseason, Vazquez said a couple of general managers, who he didn’t name, called him to see if he would have a change of heart.

“My agent, I kept telling him I wasn’t coming back,” Vazquez said. “A couple of teams, a couple of GMs called me personally. I told them, ‘Thank you, but I don’t plan on coming back.’ I spoke before to the season ended to Jeffrey. I told him what I planned on doing. They knew.”

Vazquez likes what the Marlins have done in the offseason, picking up stars like Jose Reyes.

“They’ve got a great team,” Vazquez said. “I’m happy for the Marlins fans, and everybody here. The players. It’s going to be a great season.”

Joe Frisaro

 

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