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Phillies' Gonzalez decides to retire; Coste called up

PHILADELPHIA -- Veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez of the
Philadelphia Phillies has decided to retire, effective
immediately.

Phillies general manager Pat Gillick announced on Sunday that
Gonzalez has been placed on the voluntarily retired list.

"Alex and I have chatted about this the last few days," Gillick
said. "He came in this morning and said he had made up his mind
[to retire]. I know it wasn't easy. We wish Alex and his
family well."

Gonzalez, 33, was in his 13th major league season and first with
the Phillies after signing with them in February.

"I have decided to retire and open a new chapter in my life,"
said Gonzalez in a statement. "It has been an excellent ride
through the years. There are many things I will miss about the
game including the competition at the highest level and the
camaraderie with my teammates."

Originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1991 when Gillick
was their general manager, Gonzalez made his major league debut
in 1994 and also played with the Chicago Cubs, Montreal, San
Diego and Tampa Bay.

Gonzalez had a .243 career average with 137 home runs and 536
RBI. He was the starting shortstop on the Cubs when they
advanced to the postseason in 2003 and hit a career-high 20
homers that season.

The Phillies purchased the contract of catcher-first baseman
Chris Coste from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the
International League to replace Gonzalez on the roster.

Coste, 33, was hitting just .177 with two homers and 14 RBI in
the minors. However in spring training with the Phillies, Coste
hit .463 with three homers and 11 RBI.