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Kapler retires to become minor league manager


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BOSTON ? (AP) ? Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler retired Tuesday after nine major league

seasons to start a managerial career with the team's Class-A farm team in Greenville,

S.C., a move he hopes will lead to big league job.


Kapler, who is just 31, takes over the Drive of the South Atlantic League from former

major league infielder Luis Alicea, who was promoted to Boston's first-base and infield



"A place where I'm going to be rewarded emotionally and spiritually to have an extreme

impact on somebody's life can be much more powerful than hitting a home run in a clutch

situation,'' Kapler said. "It feels right inside of my body.''


He was a backup for the latter part of his career and finished with a .270 batting

average with 64 homers and 302 RBIs in 850 games. Last season, he hit .254 with two homers

and 12 RBIs in 72 games after recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon. He became a free

agent after the season.


He said he had ??ample opportunity'' to continue playing, although the last time he

talked with Theo Epstein, Boston's general manager told him they would ??touch base''



"I'm ecstatic,'' Kapler said. "I have managerial aspirations. I have aspirations to

win a World Series as a manager (but) I have to focus on what my job is now.''


Kapler, who also played with Detroit, Texas and Colorado, started the 2005 season in

Japan playing for the Yomiuri Giants. They released him after he hit .153 in 38 games, and

he re-signed with the Red Sox on July 15. He played 36 games for Boston that season before

injuring his Achilles' on Sept. 14 while rounding second base in Toronto.


He was activated last June 16 but had just 130 at-bats for Boston all season.


Kapler hit a career-high .302 with Texas in 2000 then had a career-best 72 RBIs and 23

steals with the Rangers in 2001.


Kapler said his agent talked with other teams about signing him as a player.


"I didn't want finances to play into it,'' he said. "I made that mistake already once

when I went to Japan. ... Helping other people and being a part of other peoples' lives is

much more rewarding than finances.''


Kapler has been thinking of managing for many years. Now that he's made that decision,

there will be times he'll think he could have continued playing.


"The likelihood will be there for several years to come where I say to myself, 'I

could still be playing baseball,' " he said, "but I don't think there's going to be that

moment where I regret that decision.''

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