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Helling to retire after 12 seasons

FARGO, N.D. -- Rick Helling is retiring from baseball after
pitching in the major leagues for 12 years, highlighted by a 20-win
season.

Rick Helling Helling

"I've said all along that I would retire if I couldn't do it
anymore or if I couldn't be away from my family anymore," Helling
said Monday. "I couldn't handle being away from my family."

Helling, a 36-year-old right-hander, was 93-81 with a 4.68 ERA
for Milwaukee, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Baltimore. His best
season was 1998, when he went 20-7 for the Rangers.

He spent his final two seasons as a reliever with the Brewers,
going 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 35 innings last year. He was on the
disabled list from April 16 to June 20 with a sprained right elbow,
then didn't pitch after Sept. 9 because of torn cartilage in his
left knee.

"I had been weighing this decision all winter," Helling said.
"In the end, it really wasn't a difficult decision."

Helling won a pair of World Series titles with the Florida
Marlins in 1997 and 2003.

"I have been very lucky to play on some great teams," Helling
said. "I've been very lucky to play as long as I have. I have no
regrets."

A former member of the executive board of the players'
association, Helling has spoken out against steroids and in favor
of drug testing.

"I feel like I played the game the right way," Helling said.
"I never cheated in any way."

Helling is married and has three children who are 7, 5 and 16
months.

"When the kids get older like this, it's a lot harder to be
away," Helling said. "When they were younger, I could take them
with me, but now there's school and hockey practice. Now I can be
there every day. Most parents would kill to have that option."